A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Winter has "officially" started and with it many air quality-related concerns that dairy animals of all ages may come up against. Young calves may have the greatest challenges in th e weeks to come. As dairies increasingly turn to housing youn calves indoors, versus outdoor hutches, pens, ventilation, as it relates to animal health, will become a key consideration. Outdoor calf hutches, of course, have served well and provide ample ventilation. Their exposure to weather, however, can result in stress on calves and extra labor for dairy workers. Also, calf hutches do not facilitate use of automatic feeders. As more and more dairies consider the use of calf barns with individual stalls to help reduce labor costs, they also appreciate this as a solution for providing a more comfortable environment for calves. These barns typically are designed with natural ventilation that may be regulated somewhat, depending on the weather conditions.