Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Automatic Feeder Cannot Solving Building Problems
 
 
Calves on this farm were being fed with gang feeders - six nipples on each one with no internal dividers. Two feeders per pen of ten calves were filled twice daily with 3 liters of milk replacer per calf.
 
The calves were not gaining well, scours treatment rate was acceptable but the treatment rate for pneumonia was over fifty percent during the eight weeks the calves were in this pen. 
 
In order to improve the situation the automatic feeder was installed. The high pneumonia treatment rate continued as well as the low growth rates.
 
Look at the picture again. Don't look at the feeder. Look in the background. Barn has concrete/stone walls about 10-12 inches thick. There are eight windows on the far side that only open 1/2 way. No openings on the side behind us other than the door that can be left open. Ends of the building are solid. No mechanical ventilation. 
 
What are the chances that changing the feeding practice in a poorly ventilated building is going to solve respiratory illness problems? Would you agree the answer is, "Low?"
 
A chart showing desired air exchange rates for selected size heifers by season may be viewed by clicking HERE .

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