AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING SPECIALISTS REPTEC

Shed prep for calving.

Dairy Calf

In the lead up to calving its time to start thinking about maintenance of the shed, trailers and paddocks and feed equipment used during this busy time.
Some top tips for a well-performing calf area design include:

  • A north-facing shed will ensure full sun
  • Solid walls between pens can ensure no pen intermingling and create easier cleaning.
    Feeders at front of pens to eliminate wet areas in bedding
  • Good walkway/bike access allows for good stock maintenance and workers not having to climb pens.
    A multi-functional design can allow storage of  machinery when calving season finishes
    Temporary pen design can be useful for removal at front and rear of pens
  • Vents to the rear wall to ensure good airflow and ventilation
  • Shed design to ensure no bird contamination and resting places
  • Good roofing design for weather tightness
  • Need help with shed design give us a call

Top maintenance tasks for before and after calving starts:

  • Calf trailer maintenance and repair
  • Calf trailer and feeding equipment clean and disinfected
  • Calf shed clean and disinfected and all repairs and maintenance done
  • Designated sick calf area ready
  • Fresh bedding laid in calf shed
  • Troughs should be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Top tips for calf welfare:

  • Calves should be kept on compressible soft bedding that is dry and clean, prevents thermal stress and provides the opportunity for calves to engage in play behavior.
  • Ammonia levels should be maintained at less than 15ppm. Hydrogen sulphide, which accumulates above stored manure, should be maintained at less than 10ppm.
  • Required pen space per calf 2.5 m2
    Calves should be < 7days of age to each other
  • Higher stocking rates encourages disease outbreak & spread

More info at Dairy NZ
https://www.dairynz.co.nz/animal/calves/setting-up-for-calving/
Some Tips on calf sheds from Franklin Vets
https://franklinvets.co.nz/app/uploads/2019/05/Gold-Star-Calf-Shed.pdf
Refer to the MPI website for Dairy Cattle code of welfare
https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/1415-dairy-cattle-animal-welfare-code-of-welfare