Calf comfort and nesting score
Bedding calf comfort
Straw is my favourite type of bedding. It is warm and allows nesting? What is a nesting score?
Using 20kg straw a head for the week, slats underneath calves can again decrease straw. Slats with rubber matts allow lying but be careful about cold.
Remember if feeding straw as source of fibre and in bedding it may lead to calves consuming straw as well. My general rule is feed hay if straw bedding.
Picking bedding price availability etc remember dusty bedding or dusty concentrate can cause aerosol with poor ventilation causing excess mucus production in the windpipe. This may increase the risk of respiratory disease in young calves.
Other alternatives to straw wood chip is good
Wood shavings however make sure they are not treated.
Saw dust tends to impact ore is dusty can get very wet and is less suitable than shavings
Sand is not recommended for calves no insulation properties and if consumed sits in the stomach of calves.
Rubber mats on their own can lead to net energy loss in calves. Used best with other bedding?
Remember that we need to be able clean bedding out easily
So what is nesting score for calves
- Wet poor bedding over
- Dry good poor cover on feet
- Dry plenty straw covering the feet when lying down best nest score 3
I honsetly beleive straw or good bedding sorts out a lot of problems.
Walls painted white white colouring, cleaning them down to ensure all in all out principles. White paint on the walls helps spot scour on the walls.
Starw allowance per calf 100kgs per calf for 12 weeks! Is a rough figure or guideline to straw usage.