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Easy-To-Build Calf Huts
"Winter weather is hard on young calves so we put up calf houses in every field where we have calves," says Heather Thomas, Salmon, Idaho, who primarily calves in January and February. "Even March and April can have nasty weather so the calves use the shelters for several months."
Each house is about 16 by 8 ft. in size with a slatted floor and a sloping galvanized metal roof that's higher in front. They're built on runners so they can be easily moved if necessary. The floor keeps them up out of mud and melting snow and makes the building more sturdy and durable. The floor also adds enough weight that the house can never be tipped over by strong wind. The front of each house is partially closed with a low opening so calves can get in and out. Each house holds 20 to 30 calves. They put clean bedding in every few days.
"We keep cows away from the front of each house using either an electric wire (set .so calves can get under) or pole panels. Keeps cows out so they won't eat the bedding in the `yard' in front of each house or lie down on the calves sheltering there. It's amazing how warm it stays in these shelters with the body heat of 20 or more calves inside. Having a dry, warm place to sleep makes for less cold weather stress and less sickness. On wet, windy days, calves will stay inside, only coming out to nurse."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup,
Heather Smith Thomas, Box 215, Salmon, Idaho 83467.

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1994 - Volume #18, Issue #4