What is all this fuss over nesting scores for calves
during cold winter weather?
The principle of "nesting" in bedding for young dairy calves is creating a micro-environment. Workers at the University of Wisconsin pioneered in developing this concept. The short video featured here in this blog explains the concept and, with pictures, demonstrates the 3-value scale.
The URL is
or, try clicking HERE to go to the podcast video presentation.
I was fortunate when raising calves in the cold western New York climate to have a generous supply of long wheat straw for my calves. As early as the first of November in this climate I began to bed for #3 score bedding.
Even on winter stormy days when there were just not enough hours to get even the basics done just before the afternoon milk feeding I tossed a couple of straw bales into my JD Gator. For the very youngest calves I shook out an extra flake or two of straw in their hutches. I slept better in my warm bed at home those nights knowing these baby girls had a "nest" to help keep them warm.