Veal Calf Management

Comment on this policy

Individual housing during the neonatal period facilitates sanitation, disease control and individual attention for observation and treatment of calves. Individual housing must allow the calf to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures. AVMA supports current industry initiatives to move to group housing of veal calves. Calves should be housed in groups at the earliest age practicable to facilitate normal behaviors, including social interaction. Like individual housing, group housing must allow all calves to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures. Housing must be ventilated to provide fresh air and to prevent buildup of ammonia or pathogens. Floors and bedding must be clean, dry and maintained to prevent injuries, and allow calves to maintain normal body temperature in cold weather.

Feeding practices that enhance health and well-being should be encouraged. All calves must be fed colostrum after birth. Calves must be fed diets that provide adequate energy, protein and minerals to maintain good health and positive growth. Diets must be balanced to prevent nutritional deficiencies and their consequences, including but not limited to iron deficiency with subsequent anemia. Water must be provided from birth. Dry feed should be considered to optimize gastrointestinal development and health.  

Literature Reviews:

Welfare Implications of the Veal Calf Husbandry (PDF) 

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