With current temperatures potentially reaching 35°C young calves will be well out of their ‘comfort zone’.
The ‘ Thermo Neutral ‘ zone of a calf is between 10°C and 26°C. Temperatures below 10 and above 26 will cause the calf to burn up calories trying to maintain body temperature, this will reduce growth and have a negative impact on health. Extreme temperatures may also affect digestibility of feed. While calf hutches and group igloos offer protection from draughts and cold, they can be a very hot place if the calf tries to shelter there from the sun. It’s important the calf has somewhere to shelter away from the sun and lie in the fresh air whilst at the same time benefitting from a cooling breeze, allowing sweat and breath to evaporate and cool the calf.
A proven, trusted solution to this problem is an H&L ‘Calf garden’ over hanging individual hutches, or an H&L ‘Veranda’ alongside a Calf Igloo. These are mobile, dual purpose structures offering shade in the summer and protection from rain and snow in the winter whilst allowing a flow of fresh air. Calves have the opportunity to choose their ‘comfort zone’.
With increased threats from global warming, we need to plan ahead for all eventualities.
Calf & Youngstock Advisor