Optimal calf housing in Bio dairy farming
In order to combat calf mortality, farmers must keep a number of factors in mind. One of them is that a calf should not be lying in the distillery. In addition, a calf must receive the right feed in the first few days. To ensure that a calf grows up as healthy and natural as possible, Bioland has established a number of guidelines. They deal especially with organic calf husbandry, climate and feeding.
How do you ensure that these aspects are maintained? And what does a calf need in the different phases of its life? You can read all about this below!
calf housing in the first weeks
Day 1: Calf stays with the mother
By spending the first day with its mother, the calf can take up the colostrum directly from the mother. This allows a maximum intake of immunoglobulins, which in turn creates antidotes and improves the immune system . Whether the calf has taken in enough colostrum can be seen at first glance after some time on the belly of the freshly born calf. To produce antibodies directly in the bloodstream, a calf must drink up to 4 litres of high-quality colostrum in the first 6 hours.
Day 2 – day 7: Individual housing to guarantee hygiene and control
After your calf has produced its first antibodies on day 1, it should be given the opportunity to grow up at rest. To do this, the calf needs rest and a hygienically perfect calf pen. This minimises the likelihood of infection spreading and allows you to give each calf the chance it deserves individually. In this phase, it is important that the calf rearing system is not placed in draught and that the calf lies dry above the floor. An optimal climate ensures that the calf needs less energy to stay warm and can therefore grow as much as possible.
as of day 8: group housing
After the first week, the calf can be placed with the other newborn calves. In this way, your calf will develop social skills and additionally will increase feed intake. In biological calf rearing, it is also important to offer the calf a free range so that it can play. By keeping the groups small, the spread of infection is also kept under control.
guidelines of bioland
benefits of topcalf super hutch
- 10 m2 lying surface
- 8 m2 outdoor area
- Sliding door to the outside
- Foldable fencing with large wheels for easy mucking out or transporting
- Insulated roof
- Plastic grid at the feed fence
- Feeding fence with drinking bucket holders or neck tube with milk bar
- LED lighting
- Drinking bowl with water connection
- Hay rack
- Large air slide for fresh air
More information regarding the super calf hutch can be found here!