Calving sheds are a hive of activity around Ireland during March and space will be at a premium.

Unfortunately, ground conditions are still marginal on many farms, delaying turnout to grass.

As stocking density in calving sheds increases, so does the risk of disease.

Scour pathogens will be building, with younger and more recent born animals most at risk.

Therefore, it is crucial to stay on top of hygiene in calving sheds and group pens where cows and newborn calves are moved to before they go to grass.

Fresh bedding

Keep applying plenty of fresh bedding to provide a clean, dry lying area, especially between each use.

If time allows, clean out the wet bedding to help stretch the lifespan of the clean, fresh bedding applied.

Soiled, wet pens will lower the calf’s core body temperature, leaving the newborn more vulnerable to disease.

Move freshly calved outfits from individual pens to the larger group pens at the first opportunity.

Penning cows on slats with calves having access to creep areas will save on straw bedding and cut down on the daily work load.

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