Calf Health and Hygiene


1 min read

Ensure good routine practices Make regular calf health checks

Giving calves the best possible start sets them up for a long, productive life. Maintain routing hygiene and health practices from birth, such as regularly cleaning feeders, limiting movements between pens, and following a vaccination plan. 

Ensure good routine healthy and hygiene practices

  • Scrub all feeding equipment well with hot water and detergent.
  • Remove sick calves promptly to a designated sick pen.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect pens where sick calves are treated.
  • Disinfect hard surfaces.
  • Ensure bedding is regularly refreshed.
  • Control the spread of disease by minimising movement between pens. Calves of the same age should stay in the same pen. However, small or unthrifty calves may be better off with a healthy younger group.
  • Vaccinate, treat for parasites and provide access to shelter.

Make regular calf health checks

Calves must be checked twice daily for signs of ill health and treatment given when needed. Check that:

  • Noses are clear of discharge and are moist and cool.
  • Calves are alert and have responsive ears with no infection around the ear tag.
  • Navels are clear of infection.
  • Mouths are clear of ulcers.
  • Calves can stand and walk normally i.e. no joint ill.
  • All calves are feeding.
  • Calves have shiny, supple coats.
  • If you lightly pinch a calf’s skin and it is slow to return to normal it may be dehydrated and need electrolytes immediately.
Last updated: Sep 2023
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