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Calf Housing & Environment

The purpose of the educational materials presented here is to provide the background and science behind current recommendations for dairy calf housing and environmental management to dairy producers, calf care-takers, dairy advisors, and veterinarians. The ultimate goals are to improve the health, welfare, and performance of young dairy calves and mitigate the pathogen load into the environment.  In addition to courses for all the folks listed above, we have developed a course for 4-H livestock leaders on housing and environments for all livestock.


Click on the ‘Start Course’ link below to access the desired course.
  • Veterinarian and Dairy Advisor
    • Part One – covers the literature on calf housing and environmental management – Start Course
    • Part Two – covers use of the assessment tool for evaluating the calf environment – Start Course
  • Producer – covers the literature on calf housing and environmental management – Start Course
  • Dairy Employee – provides practical advice to calf-caretakers about calf environments
  • 4-H – provides advice on clean and comfortable environments to optimize livestock health and wellbeing – Start Course


I. The Calf’s First Environment – The Maternity Pen
II. Transportation of the Newborn to the Calf – Rearing Facility
III. Hutches or Group Pens for Pre-Weaned Calves
IV. Effects of Hutch or Pen Environment on Pre – Weaned Calf Health, Welfare, and Performance
V. Reducing Pathogen Load in the Calf Environment
VI. The Calf Environment and Caretaker Health
VII. Recommendations for Calf Housing
VIII. Assessment Tool to Evaluate the Calf Environment



This project is supported by USDA – National Integrated Food Safety Initiative # 2007-01877