Keep Your Calves Cool This Summer

Luke Michalek, Business Development Manager

As summer approaches, ensuring your calves stay cool and comfortable becomes a priority. High temperatures can stress young animals, affecting their health and growth. Luckily, keeping your calves cool doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are three easy and cost-effective tips to help your calves beat the heat.

Clean Your Fans

Fans are crucial in maintaining airflow and cooling in your barns. However, fans covered in dust and debris can lose up to 40% of their efficiency. Regularly cleaning your fans is an effortless task that requires only a bit of time and can significantly enhance their performance. By ensuring your fans are free from dust and working efficiently, you can provide better ventilation and keep your calves cooler without any additional cost.

Clean Your Water Bowls and Troughs

Calves have a keen sense of smell, and dirty water bowls or troughs can deter them from drinking enough water. Any buildup of rotten feed, grain, forage, or other contaminants can reduce water intake, directly impacting their hydration and feed intake. Regularly cleaning water bowls and troughs ensures that the water remains fresh and appealing for your calves. This simple routine can encourage better hydration and overall health, especially during the hot summer months.

Feed Electrolytes

During the summer, dehydration is a significant concern, particularly if calves experience stress or diarrhea. Electrolytes are a simple and effective method to help calves rehydrate. Dr. Jim Quigley recommends providing 2 liters of electrolytes at midday on any day when temperatures exceed 30°C, even if the calves do not show obvious signs of dehydration. This practice can ensure that your calves maintain proper hydration and recover quickly from any heat-related stress.

Ensuring your calves stay cool and comfortable is essential for their health and growth, and with these easy and low-cost tips, you can make a significant difference this summer.