Why 40pc of young calf deaths are caused by pneumonia and how to prevent them - top vet
Some 40pc of young cattle deaths are caused by pneumonia, so getting housing facilities spot on is vital according to vet Doreen Corridan.
Apart from the initial treatment costs of the condition, it takes an additional sixty days to finish cattle that were severely sick at some point, all adding to the final cost and taking away from farmer’s margins, the Munster AI vet said.
“It’s all a balancing act between the level of immunity in the animal and the challenge of infection presented,” Doreen told farmers at a recent Dairygold conference.
“Severely sick cattle will take 60 days extra to finish, it all adds to your costs and takes away from the margin.”
Improper housing can dramatically increase the chances of cattle getting pneumonia, she said, adding that good clean housing and plenty of fresh air is crucial to promote animal performance.
“If there’s cobwebs and mould in the shed, more than likely there's a problem with ventilation and this needs to change,” said Doreen, explaining that farmers need to ensure inlets and outlets are adequate, so that there’s enough fresh air in the shed to keep bacteria and viruses to a minimum.
Doreen recommended that inlets should be the length of the shed and for a 500kg animal, a space of 0.1m² for inlets should be provided and twice to four times this for outlets.
“For example, a shed housing 230 animals needs a 23m² outlet running the length of the shed for enough space for air to get out. This bac and v out fast, inadequate air flow.