- Have a separate airspace/shed for each age group of growing cattle.
- Never mix older “tailend” cattle (who are likely to have suffered from pneumonia themselves) in the same shed as high risk animals.
- Provide autumn born suckled calves with a separate well bedded creep area with excellent ventilation. If possible also give them access to outdoors, where they will probably spend most of their time.
- Maximise ventilation. The negative effect of draughts is very exaggerated, particularly where calves have a dry lie. Given a choice no animal will lie in a draught, unless it is too hot.
- Bed well when stock are first housed. One bale in the autumn is worth 4 in the spring. Keep the bed as dry as possible to minimise levels of relative humidity in the building.
- In shed with feed passages scrape regularly, ideally at least daily to minimise standing liquids.
- Consider initially using straw based rations rather than silage to minimise moisture in the shed.
- Consider vaccinating prior to housing.
- Worm calves for both stomach and lungworm several weeks prior to housing/weaning.
- Clip the back of calves to help them control body temperature.
- Ensure high quality feed and clean drinking water is easily available.
Basil Lowman, email@example.com
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