Ventilation in calf suites

A functional ventilation means

  • supply of fresh air
  • exhaust of harmful gases / humidity
  • temperature control
  • minimum ventilation is determined in accordance with the carbon dioxide content produced by the animals being bred. Maintaining minimum ventilation also during the wintertime is a necessity. Maximum ventilation is carried out in the summer.
  • optimal conditions for baby calves are most easily achieved in a separate calf suite.

The target temperature for calf suites is 15 to 20 degrees centigrade. The required temperature is affected by structural materials, air movement, and the quality and quantity of desiccant litter.

The relative humidity should be between 55 and 80 per cent: surplus humidity is condensed onto surfaces, causing contamination of both structures and animals.


The calf’s appearance will tell if the conditions are correct. 


Air flow must be less than 0.2 metres per second. Surplus air flow causes a feeling of draught and exposes to respiratory diseases among other things.

Condition control is based on a perfect ratio between the amount of exhaust and supply air and the direction of the flow, as well as the success of possible additional heating and stall solutions.

It is essential to adjust the equipment for exhaust, supply and additional heating to co-function, which will help keep the conditions as stable as possible. Even a fluctuation of five degrees up or down in the temperature causes stress and increased morbidity within a calf suite.



Source: ETT lecture series, Katse vasikkaan (Look at the calf) campaign 2011