Source: Cornell University
Calves need to be given a good start in life to ensure they will be viable replacements for the herd. Properly raised calves are more apt to be healthy, vigorous, and ready for first calving at the target age and body size for the farm. As cows, they should be able to cope with stressful environmental conditions better than calves raised in less than ideal conditions. Providing adequate nutrition, health care, animal husbandry, and management are essential. Ensuring a proper environment for each animal is equally important.
Facilities can be old structures or new, elaborate or simple; no matter the type they must provide a management and housing system that provides the following five key elements to the calf on a year-round basis.
- A dry, comfortable resting area
- Good Ventilation
- Free access to feed and water
- Confident Footing
- Space, not overcrowded