A great opportunity to compare the massive Calf Igloo with a Twin hutch and a single hutch, and to discuss new feeding and management solutions from Holm and Laue.
Housing the calves in an outdoor environment has become increasingly popular as calf rearers discover the health advantages. As air flows over the unique dome shape, the stale air is swept away from the central chimneys allowing fresh air to flow in through the door. This rapid air exchange is beneficial to calf health. The circular shape allows maximum protection from draughts. The Calf Igloo will house 1 - 15 calves.
The benefits of single calf hutches are well established, but they have the single disadvantage of being labour intensive. The Calf Igloo provides all the benefits of group housing with improved ventilation and labour saving.
The way the Igloos are arranged on the edge of a building or with a veranda promotes good hygiene as the Igloo is easily pulled away from the shed by tractor, the muck is removed, and the Igloo and loafing area are ready to populate again. The ability to manage each pen as a separate living area opens up a different style of management and solves many of the hygiene problems faced by calf rearers today.
As the system is modular, it can be extended as the enterprise grows. The igloo and veranda system is very versatile as it is totally mobile and can be parked anywhere on the farm, or moved to a different farm.
The Igloo system can be used with computerised feeders, teated buckets, or buckets.
In many dairy and beef units there are animals in the calf shed all year round. This presents challenges for the naïve calves entering the unit, as the number of pathogens will be high. The versatile Calf Igloo system can help solve this problem as ‘same age’ calves can be kept in their group and can be separated from the next age group, with a physical wall, a large air gap, or kept in a separate veranda.
Many modern buildings are designed for a teleporter, not for calves! Often the roof is too high allowing random air movements and cold calves. While mucking out mechanically is important, it’s also important to keep the calf cosy. The solution to this problem is a building with a minimum height of 3.4m to the eaves, with an Igloo located on the perimeter. This allows an indoor area for loafing and a sleeping area for calves who are young, cold, or for those who just want to keep out the draught. The calf can choose where to lie.
Creating an environment with plenty of clean fresh air and rapid air exchange will often create draught. Young calves spend 70% of their time lying down and hate being in a draught as it will make them ill. Providing a warm sheltered draught proof Igloo is the solution. The calves are kept warm while the unique dome shape of the Igloo allows rapid air exchange via the 4 chimneys and the calves are well ventilated without sitting in a draught. As the wind flows over the dome shape, it sucks stale air away and drives improved ventilation.
‘We chose Calf Igloos for our heifer calves because we were looking for a flexible system rather than a purpose built shed. The airflow in the Igloos gives a natural healthy environment.In the last 2 years we haven’t had any pneumonia while the calves were using the igloos.We are very happy with the system.’
Longden Manor Farms