This time of year can be a nice wind down prior to the hustle and bustle of spring. Cattle are in, cows are dry and the days are short. However, it also allows for preparation for the season ahead. This year was quite good for low levels of neonatal calf disease, but complacency must be avoided.

Proper cleaning and disinfection of calving facilities and calf pens in advance of calving season can pay dividends. Foremost, the structural integrity of the facilities should be evaluated. Cracks in concrete allow for pathogens such as cryptosporidium to nest away, walls that can’t be cleaned build up excessive faecal pathogen contamination. Pens should be easily accessed to allow proper cleaning during the calving season.