Calf health is greatly improved when they have access to clean, dry straw-bedded creep pens that are free from draughts.
Wet bedding will lower the calf’s core body temperature, meaning it has to burn more energy to stay warm.
When it comes to straw bedding, do not cut corners in the creep pen. As a rule of thumb, when you kneel down on the fresh straw, your knees should not get damp.
Creep pens should also be fitted with good lights, making it easier to watch and observe calves for signs of respiratory problems.
Ideally, calves should also have to access to good-quality fodder, concentrates and water from within the creep pen, rather than competing with mature cows at the main feed face.