24 October 1997

Heat andhumidity puts calves at risk

CALF respiratory disease increased threefold in the warm, muggy conditions last week and producers are advised to keep a close check on stock indoors.

"Watch calves indoors closely – those which have just been weaned and are up to four to five months old are most at risk," warns vet consultant Tony Andrews.

Calves will go off their food, cough a lot, and look dull and unhappy. "They will also be running a temperature," he adds.

Dr Andrews suggests isolating such animals from others when possible, but ideally keeping them somewhere where they can see other calves to avoid stress. "Offer good quality food and water, and keep them well bedded and out of draughts." If antibiotics are needed, seek advice, he adds.