Sunlight sanitation

Yesterday, I posted a picture of flipped calf hutches. I asked you, my faithful readers, to guess why we would do such a silly thing.

Patrick was the winning answer: Sunlight sanitation. Way to go Patrick! You can get your congratulatory pat on the back the next time you come to pick up our milk. Note: Patrick is our milk truck driver.

As I have mentioned countless times, the number one way to organically treat a sick animal is to not have the animal get sick in the first place. Prevention is key. Sunlight is an important way to keep our calves’ homes nice and sanitary. Also, flipping the hutches looks pretty cool and everyone asks about it.

When our calves are born, we want to give them the best opportunity for a healthy life. Making sure their first home away from home mom is clean is very important. In addition to flipping the hutches, we also try to move the hutches to a new spot and always give them fresh clean straw. If you would fly over our farm in the summer, it would look like our calf pasture had poka-dots.

Erik and Calf

In the winter it is much harder to move the hutches (because they are buried in snow), so we try to give each hutch a rest period between calves. If organisms do not have a host (warm calf), they don’t survive. That is one benefit to Minnesota’s extreme cold. I am hard pressed to think of others.

Calf warm in her hutch (last winter)

Just looking at that picture makes me cold, brrr. I might need to go get some Organic Valley eggnog to warm me up. Here is to hoping we have a few more sunny days until the snow flies!

Emily

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Filed under #AgChat, Calves and Heifers, dairy, Livestock, Raising Animals

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