Calf Care Checklist: Winter Ventilation – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on October 25, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator

As we quickly approach winter, here are a few items you can check to make sure your calf barn ventilation is working properly.

  • Make sure curtains are working well. Fix the curtains if they cannot close completely.  We do not recommend closing curtains all the way on most days, but you do want the ability to prevent snow from blowing in on blustery days.
  • Fix or patch any holes in your curtains that may have appeared over the summer.
  • Look at your positive pressure tubes to see if they have more holes than they were designed to have.  If you see additional holes, tubes should be patched or replaced.
  • Look at the connections between the tubes and the fans to make sure seals are intact.  If seals are not tight, the tubes will not fill with air correctly.
  • Clean any air exhaust areas, including soffits, eaves and ridges.  Over time, dust and dirt will build up in these areas and prevent air from escaping, leading to negative pressure in the barn.
  • Look at all fans, positive pressure fans and exhaust fans. Make sure the blades are clean and running well. If the fan sounds like it is running fast or slow, it could be due to a buildup of dust and dirt. It could also be due to an improperly sized hood on the fan. Fans are like all other equipment and need to be regularly maintained.  Ask your fan supplier what recommended maintenance should be done.
  • If possible, clean tubes if you observe a lot of dust and dirt buildup. Over time, this can affect how the tube discharges air.
  • It may be time to have your system evaluated if it has been in place for a long time.  You want to know that it is still working like it did when it was new.

Just like all areas of the farm, it is good to look at your ventilation in the spring and fall to make sure it is ready for the upcoming season.

Category: Equipment
Starting Strong - Calf Care
Winter calf care