Creating ideal environments for the health of your calves can be a real challenge and sometimes even somewhat of a contradiction. While it is important to separate the vulnerable and young calves from all diseases, the housing methods deemed necessary to accomplish this will negatively affect ventilation. The housing methods you will use will also definitely increase the risks of bovine respiratory disease (BRD).
This is why, in this article, we will be looking into how ventilation and housing contributes to BRD and how this can be stopped.
Why is Ventilation Important?
Adequate forms of ventilation are known to be critical in order to remove the humidity and unhealthy organisms from the air. When the relative humidity inside your barn begins to exceed 80%, then bacteria begins to survive much longer then it is supposed to. Dead bacteria, on the other hand, can also act as an irritant for respiratory tracts.
You may also see similar levels of humidity in barns where the flooring allows for water or urine to accumulate. That said, you should keep in mind that calves that are set with automatic feeders will consume much more free choice water and milk – which also means that they will have higher need to keep their bedding dry.
Housing and Types of Ventilation
Here, it is important for you to consider what housing types have an effect on the quality of ventilation in your barn. You might be thinking about building an entirely new facility so why not consider the elements that cause BRD among calves.
1. Negative Pressure Ventilation
In order to mix and distribute air properly, your barn should have an adequate rate of airflow. If, however, there are opening around windows, walls or any other negative pressure in the facility, then the airflow will drop drastically. In such barns, the quality of ventilation will naturally be poor.
2. Natural Ventilation
Natural ventilation relies on thermal buoyancy and external wind forces (say from a super duty fan). This is because of the fact that the prevailing winds are too slow in the summertime and cannot achieve sufficient levels of mixing. This is especially the case if there are many obstructions on the farm. Dead pockets of air can also occur if there are areas which are highly polluted.
Natural ventilation tends to be challenging in the wintertime as well because the barn will need to be several degrees higher than the outside environment in order to facilitate the movement of air. Calves, on their own, do not create enough body heat in order to create thermal buoyancy in the barn. If this is added with closed curtains in the barn, then winter may actually be the time when ventilation is the most dangerous.
With the super duty fan, you will be able to keep all the basic principles of barn ventilation in mind while eliminating dangerous microenvironments that breed humidity and organisms. Make sure your calves get all the fresh air they need!
Super Duty Fans can be hung at a variety of angles and circulates the air quickly and quietly. Find out why Farmers Love Super Duty Fans. Check out the variety of sizes available.