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Four Air Exchanges Per Hour: A History Of Calf Barn Ventilation And An Industry That Is Slow To Change

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M
Director of Technical Services

When discussing calf barn ventilation, invariably the topic of using four air exchanges per hour for cold weather ventilation will come up. After all, we wouldn’t want “too much” of that cold air in the barn. Or would we? Who came up with the idea to use four air exchanges per hour during cold weather and why? To understand our industry’s current ventilation recommendations, we must first understand the history of calf barn ventilation research.

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Cold Weather Considerations For Calves

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When temperatures start to drop, calf raisers need to make accommodations to ensure calves have the resources necessary to maintain their body temperature, support basic bodily functions and develop into productive, profitable, young stock. Two general areas to consider when preparing your calves for winter months are diet/nutrition and housing.

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How Heifers On The Crystal Creek® Swift Start®Calf & Heifer Program Perform When Entering The Milking Herd

Click here to view as a pdf:  Swift Start Calf Feeding Trial Update

By Teresa Marker, B.S.

The goal of any dairy calf raiser is to have a healthy, productive, replacement heifer that is a profitable addition to their milking line. The Crystal Creek® Swift Start® Calf & Heifer program consists of a line of milk replacers, texturized calf feeds, calf pellets and mineral formulated with industry-leading technology and manufactured with the highest quality ingredients available. University research has proven time and time again that the way calves are fed and raised during the pre-wean period will affect their performance later in life. In the “Swift Start® Calf Feeding Challenge” newsletter article published in April of 2017, Crystal Creek® provided documentation of superior performance results in pre-weaned calves that were on the Swift Start® Calf & Heifer program. This data showed higher body weight gains, improved feed conversion rates, improved nutrient digestibility, less veterinary intervention and smoother transitions into weaning. The calves on the Swift Start® calf feeding program not only outperformed the calves on the competitor’s program but also saved the calf raiser money. This article will take topics highlighted in the initial trial a step further and evaluate the performance of heifer calves as they transition into post-weaned heifers and ultimately, progress into the lactating herd.

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Calfhood Pneumonia: When Is It Related To Ventilation And When Is It Something Different?

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Dr. Ryan Leiterman holds degrees in both Agricultural Engineering and Veterinary Medicine

By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M

Calfhood pneumonia can be frustrating to deal with. Understanding where the problem originates is the first step in creating a plan to combat it. Most cases of calfhood pneumonia can be placed into one of two broad categories: environmental causes vs. contagious causes.

Another way to look at these categories would be pneumonia cases caused by poor air quality vs. pneumonia cases caused by something other than air quality/ventilation.

 

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Comparing Calves To Bicycle Wheels- A Systematic Approach To Troubleshooting Pre-weaned Calves

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Dr. Ryan Leiterman holds degrees in both Agricultural Engineering and Veterinary Medicine

By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M and Lorrie Meister, C.V.T.

 On October 11, 1826, Theodore Jones of London, England received a patent for what he called “wire wheels”. Jones found that if he added wires, or what we now call spokes, to a circular rim, the wheel could bear greater stress while maintaining its round shape. The addition of the spokes helped the rim distribute the stress evenly throughout the wheel. This strength is dependent on all the spokes working together; if one or more spokes are weak or broken, the rim may collapse.

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Dr. Ryan Leiterman Contributes to Progressive Dairy Magazine

Dr. Ryan Leiterman’s recent article “Drafts:  A Calf’s Best Friend or Greatest Foe”   has been published in the Progressive Dairy MagazineThis article addresses why drafts are traditionally thought of as a negative experience for calves and how they can be used to one’s advantage in certain situations.  Read more here to learn what the pros and cons of drafts can be in calf barn ventilation.

Click here to view as a pdf:  A calf’s best friend or greatest foe

Dr. Ryan Leiterman holds degrees in both Agricultural Engineering and Veterinary Medicine.

By Dr. Ryan Leiterman

Drafts and pre-weaned calves – rarely is a topic so misunderstood. Many calf raisers are uncomfortable with the topic of drafts on calves, regardless of the outside temperature. Most people believe drafts are to be avoided at all costs.  I once heard of a veterinarian who would spark a lighter in a calf pen and if the flame flickered, even the slightest bit, would declare the presence of a dangerous draft.  Contrary to popular belief, however, drafts on pre-weaned calves are not always a bad thing. In fact, in certain situations, they can even be beneficial.

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Rethinking Drafts And Calves

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

Drafts and pre-weaned calves: Rarely is a topic so misunderstood. Many calf raisers are uncomfortable with the topic of drafts on calves, regardless of the outside temperature. Most people believe that drafts are to be avoided at all costs. I once heard of a veterinarian who would spark a lighter in a calf pen and if the flame flickered, even the slightest bit, would declare the presence of a dangerous draft.  Contrary to popular belief, however, drafts on pre-weaned calves are not always a bad thing. In fact, in certain situations, they can even be beneficial.

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Progressive Dairyman Features Recent Article by Crystal Creek® Ventilation Specialist

Crystal Creek® is pleased to announce Jessica Getschel’s most recent calf barn ventilation article published in the Progressive Dairyman Magazine.  Jessica is a livestock nutritionist and ventilation specialist at Crystal Creek® and holds a bachelor of science degree from University Wisconsin Madison in Dairy Science and Microbiology.

Click here to view as a pdf:  Calf-barn-ventilation–Install-new-or-make-improvements_-0519CA_NOAds