Calf house hygiene

Published 23 February 15

New-born calf survival is a balance between maximizing primary immunity with colostrum management and minimizing the risk of exposure to bacteria and infection with hygiene protocols on farm. Before colostrum has been received, the calf has no immunity and can be infected immediately from birth if calving conditions are unclean.

Hygiene throughout the rearing system is vital, disease and infection in the first weeks of life will have costs associated with treatment and reduced feed conversion resulting in poor growth. 50% of calf deaths are due to scours caused by poor hygiene on farms. However, if efficient hygiene management practices are put in place, these losses can be prevented.

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