Choose the Best Bedding for Your Calves Year-round
- Start with a clean, disinfected hutch. Pressure wash, disinfect and let the hutch dry between calves.
- Place hutches on a clean, dry area – preferably with a cement or gravel base.
- Distribute a light layer of hydrated lime on the hutch base to disinfect and dry out the area.
- Start with a 3- to 4-inch layer of shavings or sawdust to help absorb moisture.
- Twelve inches of long straw is necessary for calves to nest in order to maintain body temperature during cold weather. (Two-thirds of the calf’s legs should “disappear” in the bedding when she lies down.)
- When determining if bedding is dry, use the “knee test.” Kneel in the bedding for 30 seconds. Your knee should be dry when you stand up. If not, the bedding is too wet.
- Use clean bedding that is free of dust and mold.
- Use 6 inches or more of sand
- Use 6 inches or more of sawdust or shavings
- Use just 8 inches of fresh straw
Starting Strong - Calf Care