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Housing Factors to Optimize Respiratory Health of Calves in Naturally Ventilated Calf Barns in Winter
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Sixth International Dairy Housing Conference Proceeding, 16-18 June 2007, (Minneapolis, Minnesota) (Electronic Only) 701P0507e.(doi:10.13031/2013.22789)
Authors: Kenneth V Nordlund
Keywords: calf barn, respiratory disease, microenvironment, nesting, airborne bacteria, natural ventilation, positive pressure supplemental ventilation, fabric air duct, polyethylene vent tubing
Clinical experience has shown endemic calf pneumonia to be a common problem in calves housed in individual pens in modern naturally ventilated calf barns. A recent field trial has identified key housing factors associated with the prevalence of respiratory disease in these calf barns during the winter. Key factors associated with reduced prevalence of respiratory disease included a solid panel between each calf, deep bedding to allow nesting, and low total airborne bacterial counts in air within the pens. Practical approaches to reducing airborne bacterial concentrations within the pens include expanding the area of each pen and reducing the number of solid sides enclosing the pen. Because total airborne bacterial concentrations were a significant factor associated with the prevalence of respirator disease, our clinical service has recommended positive-pressure air distribution ducts to direct a small quantity of fresh air into the microenvironment of each pen, insuring the dilution of the airborne organisms without creating perceptible drafts.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)