Heat Stress in Dairy Calves
Penn State Extension has a well-written resource on this topic. This is a brief summary.
For a comprehensive review on heat stress in dairy calves use your phone or computer to enter this URL https://extension.psu.edu/heat-stress-in-dairy-calves or if you are reading this on one of those just click HERE. This Penn State resource has this outline:
· How hot is too hot?
· Strategies to help calves beat the heat
o Provide shade
o Move more air
o Offer plenty of water
o Keep grain fresh
o Consider inorganic bedding
o Work calves in the morning
o Consider feeding more milk replacer
Consider feeding more milk replacer! [Sam's commentary on this strategy]
If you are currently feeding two quarts of either milk or milk replacer twice daily your calves are being shortchanged! Dealing with heat stress uses up lots of energy. We do not have hard numbers to tell us exactly how much more to milk/milk replacer to feed.
Nevertheless, boosting their energy intake through milk/milk replacer can be a workable way to get more groceries into young calves. Practical ways to do this include:
· Increasing volume of whole milk fed – move up 1 quart per feeding is an example.
· For milk replacer, increase volume fed OR
· For milk replacer, move up from 8 ounces of powder makes 2 quarts (12% solids) to 10 ounces makes 2 quarts (15% solids)
If, however, every time you try to increase the volume fed you observe an increase in treatable scours, then you need to check out this resource in our calf management resource library – “Feeding more milk without scours.” Click HERE if you are reading this on your phone or computer or enter this URL http://atticacows.com/library/newsletters/FeedingMoreMilkwithoutScoursR1845.pdf