Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cold Weather and Concrete
We all know how calves in a group pen like to lie next to something - a wall, a straw bale, a gate.
What if the wall is concrete? What if the wall if much colder than the calf?
  This picture was taken during warm weather. Note the calves lying along the wall in the background.
Now, fast forward to winter weather. This wall temperature will drop below freezing. Three changes will keep calves from being chilled along this wall.
1. Calf blankets will be put on calves as they go into the pen and remain on until around five weeks of age. 
2. A series of small square bales of straw will be added to line the concrete wall. Thus, calves will continue to lie along the rear of the pen but will be forced away from the cold concrete.
3. Long straw will be added on top of the wood shavings to promote "nesting."
Do give some thought to where calves lie down and the potential for losing body heat into adjacent building structures. 

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