Cooler fall temperatures and big temperature swings between day and night can lead to stress on your calves’ immune systems. To avoid this, we’re often inclined to close windows and doors of calf housing. However, this can create an environment with improper ventilation, minimized air exchange and, potentially, a buildup of respiratory disease-causing pathogens — all contributing to a utopia for respiratory infections.
To help protect your calves during changing weather, talk to your veterinarian about implementing these steps:
- Feed calves high-quality colostrum within the first few hours of life to help provide protective antibodies.
- Give an initial intranasal vaccination of INFORCE™ 3 respiratory vaccine at birth to help calves build strong immunity against respiratory disease-causing pathogens.
- Provide pre-weaned calves enough calories and protein to at least double birth weight by 60 days of age. Offer milk replacer or pasteurized whole milk and a balanced starter.
- Feed calves based on individual size and weight. Adjust feeding based on outside climate.
- Be consistent with rations and feed at the same time each day. If changes are necessary in diet or feeding time, do so gradually.
- Revaccinate calves before moving to group housing.
Small changes in calf management can help minimize the impacts of changing weather. Talk to your veterinarian today.