Successful Herefordshire farmer, Mr Davies, recently installed a VentTube Fresh to his calf shed to reduce instances of pneumonia in the herd. Mr Davies runs a mixed farm including dairy, beef and arable – winning the Mixed Farmer of Year Farmers Weekly Awards in 2016. Cows are milked using robots, with year-round calving.
Like many calf buildings, the housing design is not ideal. The building is nearly 4ms tall with an open ridge. Unfortunately, as calves do not generate enough heat to push warm, stale out through the ridge (the stack effect), recycled air was hanging in the building increasing the risk of pneumonia.
Pneumonia is caused by several types of viruses and bacteria, and results in 14.5% of dairy heifers failing to make it to first lactation. Poorly ventilated buildings increase the risk of bacteria-laden air entering the lungs of youngstock. Conversely, a chilled, over ventilated building, can lead calves to use more energy to keep warm leading to poorer growth rates and weaker immune systems.
Mechanical ventilation, such as VentTube Fresh, will force fresh air into the building, pushing out the stale air. Mr Davies hopes that instances of pneumonia will reduce this coming autumn and winter period, ultimately reducing the need to immunise his youngstock.
Galebreaker will be following up with Mr Davies in the spring to assess the impact of the VentTube.
For more information on our weather protection and ventilation solutions, get in touch with the Galebreaker Sales Team.