Transportation of calves

Transportation of calves
Transportation of calves
By Travis Scott, Veterinarian, Anexa Vet Services

One of the key components of raising calves on a dairy farm is the collection and transport of calves from the springer paddock to the calf shed. This must be done in a safe and hygienic way, as new-born calves are highly susceptible to injuries and infection during this process. This job can also be highly time consuming, with large numbers of calves being born on one day resulting in multiple trips so having a good trailer, with good protocols around cleaning and disinfection is really important to give your calves the best start.

A good calf trailer should be secure, with no holes or gaps down low where the calf can get a leg trapped. The flooring should be non-slip with some level of padding to minimise risk of grazes or injuries if the calves fall over during transport. The trailer should be easy to clean as well, as the trailer should be cleaned out at least daily to minimise risk of infections.

Most calf trailers are a cage type trailer, which requires the calf to try and remain standing while traveling to the calf shed, which is very difficult for a new-born animal. There are alternative designs for calf trailers that use slings to suspend the calf in the trailer, so that there is no way the calf can fall over or contaminate its navel during transport, such as the Benic trailer (see picture on right above).


Date Added: Wednesday, 1st July 2020


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