Why Are Dairy Operations Changing Management of Calves?

When it comes to management of calves, more dairy producers are turning to a group house, group fed system.

“That is a different management approach than how the calves caring for calves as opposed to what traditionally has been done in the past many years and how to house them individually and outside what’s called calf hutches.” noted Curt Gooch of Cornell University Extension.

He added that requires providing a good environment for calves, especially good ventilation. With challenges such as colder drafty weather in northern climates that impact baby calves to a greater degree producers using a group house/group fed system are looking at mechanical ventilation.

“​Which basically used fans in conjunction with designated air inlets to provide ventilation for the calves,” Gooch said.

Gooch added, ventilation systems led themselves to dairies using auto-feeders for their calves as part of a group house/group fed management system. They can also be designed on calf needs based on seasonal conditions. 

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