With the high temperatures NWF share some helpful information about heat stress in calves.
The thermoneutral zone is where a calf attempts to maintain a consistent body temperature. Factors which impact this are such as; movement, moisture, hair coat, sunlight and bedding.
To counteract the effects of heat stress calves, will start to sweat just like us. Calves can dehydrate very quickly so ensuring they drink plenty is key. Calves will also reduce feed intake and energy will be taken away from growth and the immune system to try to balance the core temperature and secrete toxins. This will reduce the growth rate of the calves and the incidence of disease is increased (Bateman et al, 2012).
What can we do?
- Provide Shade
- Freedom to Move
- Offer Plenty of Water
- Replenish Concentrates
- Avoid working calves during the day
- Consider feeding more milk replacer
For further advice on calf rearing and feeding contact Becky Erskine BSc (Hons), NWF Trading Specialist on 01829 262382 or 262346.
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