Build a calf house
The most effective and cheapest calf sheds are built like this. The length depends on the number of calves to be housed at any one time. For optimum care, pens are designed for 10 – 12 calves.
- The roof should be clear, either greenhouse film or clear corrugated. You can hang shade cloth underneath in warmer weather so calves don’t overheat.
- The sunlight keeps the bedding dry and is an excellent disinfectant.
- Back wall 2.4m high, with a removable curtain above solid partitions for a breeze in warm weather.
- Front. About 3.5m high depending on tractor height for removal of bedding.
- Open to the North or North East with a 3m gate on each pen.
- A removable flap on the front of each pen to hang down 1 – 1.5m will stop rain blowing too far back. Windbreak cloth would suffice. An awning out the front makes feeding more comfortable in the rain.
For optimum efficiency, a Milk Bar 10 or 12 teat feeder is hung on the front gate at feeding times only.
Meal feeders should be in each pen from day one for grain feeding. Braden Start bottles are fantastic at training calves to meal. Place a Snack Bar below the Braden Start Bottle to catch any meal that drops.
Access to water is vital. The Milk Bar Pen Waterer eliminates all bird and calf droppings and protects the water from dust and shavings. Once installed there is no need for you to clean the water trough!