Essential Hygiene is Rule number one when Calf Rearing as weaker immune
systems are more apparent early on in the calfs life.
Follow these simple steps to ensure Essential Hygiene is kept:
- KEEP DRY – In pens & outside of pens (Knee Test.. when knelt on bedding – if knees & legs are damp more bedding is needed)
Do not try & save on straw – Good common practise would be to have
enough straw to cover the calfs legs, this allows the calf to nest.
- NOT OVERSTOCKING PENS – reduces airspace, makes bedding wetter, more chance of passing pathogens on from one animal to another.
- CLEAN FEED EQUIPMENT CORRECTLY – follow steps below
Cleaning Feed Equipment
Residues from Milk Replacer, Milk, Colostrum on all types of feeding systems are great places for pathogens to grow. Places where bacteria if not cleaned, dried properly can all harbour disease. Feeding equipment should be cleaned after each feed to remove any bacteria build up from surfaces.
- Rinse (32-38C)
- Soak with liquid detergent (50C)
- Wash 50C
- Rinse again
- Dry (upside down)
If teat buckets are being used please run the process through the teat. Teat assembly should be taken apart every week to guarantee thorough cleaning.
Feeding buckets should never been cleaned using hypochlorite as hypochlorite residues could easily get trapped in the teats and are very harmful to the young calf.
Mechanical mixers should be cleaned after use using warm soapy water. Fill the mixer with one-third of water and agitate. Stop agitation and clean the top third of the mixer with a stiff brush.
Rise the mixer with cold clean water to get rid of any liquid detergent.
Don’t forget to leave the tap open at the bottom of the mixer so it can dry thoroughly.
Ensure that computerised feeders are washed twice daily.
Set the feeder to wash at 50°C and use alkaline tank cleaner rather than hypochlorite. Alkaline tank cleaner is very good at breaking down milk fat.
Clean powder outlet daily with a knife this ensures the correct level of powder is dosed into the mixing jar.
Clean electrodes that are exposed to milk every week.
Always follow manufacturers cleaning instructions.
Calf Housing can be more difficult to clean as very few designs allow for easy procedure for cleaning.
Material: Plastic is good to use in Calf Buildings as its easy cleaning, provides a solid surface with no cracks or holes for any bacteria to slowly
Flooring: Ensure no cracks or hollows that are hard to clean. For best practise a small fall on flooring to allow any liquid to drain away freely.
Housing should be cleaned following each batch of calves. It is very important that no calves are in the building during the cleaning process as this will spread disease and add moisture to the shed.
Housing should be cleaned out and pressure washed thoroughly. Buildings should be disinfected and left to dry before the next batch of calves.
If regular cleaning isn’t possible in your current Calf Housing please refer to our Housing page where regular cleaning is made possible between groups.