Individual housing during the neonatal period facilitates sanitation, disease control and individual attention for observation and treatment. Individual housing must allow the calf to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures.
Calves should be housed in groups by 10 weeks of age to facilitate normal behaviors, including social interaction. Like individual housing, group housing must allow all calves to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures.
Calves must be fed diets that provide adequate energy, protein and minerals to maintain good health and positive growth. Diets must be balanced to prevent nutritional deficiencies and their consequences, including but not limited to iron deficiency with subsequent anemia. Water must be provided from birth. Dry feed must be provided for rumen development and to allow the normal process of rumination. All calves must be fed colostrum after birth.
Housing must be ventilated to provide fresh air and to prevent buildup of ammonia or pathogens. Floors and bedding must be clean, dry and maintained to prevent injuries.
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