As the fierce heatwaves have hit the UK again recently we look at the impact it has on calves and in particular how our Optimum Climate Calf Barns (OCCB), our market-leading calf housing solution, is helping to combat a range of temperatures across the year.
Just like humans, calves like to attempt to maintain a constant body temperature regardless of the outside temperature. Within a certain range of temperatures calves can maintain body temperature without needing extra energy – these boundaries are called the lower critical temperature (LCT) and the upper critical temperature. (UCT)
- LCT for calves less than 3 weeks old 10-15C
- UCT for calves above 25C
Environmental temperatures above 25 degrees will see calves become heat stressed. To counter this they will start to sweat in order to lose some of the excess heat, their energy will be directed away from growth & the immune system to aid with trying to cool, reducing growth rates & increasing the risk of disease.
We care for the next generation
Over the past 5 years at The Calf Company, we’ve seen a massive push for socially grouped calf housing but also to find a system that works in both Hot & Cold weather conditions as more than ever we are beginning to see increasingly severe weather conditions.
Here’s what dairy farmer Richard Roberts had to say…
How does the calf housing work?
OCCBs create a Self Ventilating Micro Environment designed for calves from birth to weaning. Each installation is made up of a number of units that are the perfect size for a group of calves to be reared together until weaning. The solid panelling from each group ensures no sharing of airspace between next door groups creating their own micro climate.
The barns feature the perfect angled pitched roof which allows fresh air to be exchanged, with stale air being pushed out through the top of the units in a convection process.
The idea of this is to create “correct ventilation” – ventilation that isn’t too much but also isn’t too little with many farmers struggling to find the middle ground on more open conventional sheds.
Let's take a look at the materials used
The calf housing is made from fully Insulated 52mm polypropylene walls resistant to ammonia and UV rays & Insulated 40mm roof – this helps to maintain a more consistent temperature – keeping calves warm in colder days & cooler in hotter days.
We use light, neutral colours for the panelling & inside roof, this allows a clean, fresh atmosphere for happy, healthy calves. We often get asked: “How come you don’t use sky lights within the roof for natural lighting?” Our answer is that, skylights would increase & decrease temperature much more quicker inside the units, which goes against everything we are trying to achieve and consequently would put unnecessary stress on the calves.
The optimum climate calf housing is designed to be fixed on a new concrete pad with on a 3% slope which allows free draining from the pens this is then caught in a drain keeping any moisture & dampness away from the front of the units.
Hear from our calf specialist, Josh...
Here at The Calf Company we’re passionate about supporting our UK Farmers with products which reflect the high-standard of the UK Agricultural Industry.
If you’d like to find out more about our Optimum Climate Calf Barns or arrange to see them on-farm at one of our locations across the UK, contact Josh via 07903772553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.