Yes, Air Quality Can Make a Difference!
Increased BRD Among Group-Housed Calves
Seventeen dairy farms in southern Ontario, Canada, using automatic feeders for preweaned calves were visited 4 times over a year.
Sharing air with cattle 5 to 8 months of age was a significant risk factor for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) (p<.01)
The range of BRD among the 17 farms was from 0 to 28 percent (median 17%).
Air quality can make a difference for group-housed calves on automatic feeders. Once weaned, the calves belong in another barn - not mucking up the air for the younger ones.
The authors also found that frequently cleaning of the feeder and pen helped reduce both scours and BRD.
Reference: Medrano-Galarza, C. and Others, "Association of Management practices and calf health on dairy farms using automatic milk feeders in southern Ontario." Journal of Dairy Science 100:340 July 2017