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Bio Security and Young Calves

Calf Health

Bio security and calves can be a tough one, as who doesn’t like playing with baby calves on a dairy farm?  It can go multiple directions when discussing biosecurity, do you invite a class room of elementary students out for a visit or it can be employees moving from barn to barn.

I am going to focus on the employees and calves. So, what is the definition of Bio security on dairy farms?  The management strategies that prevent the entry and spread of disease can also be called the “bio security plan” for the farm. Every farm should have a bio security plan as part of its overall health management strategy.

We have 3 major areas of Bio Security: External, Internal and How do I put together a plan?


  1. External bio security refers to procedures and practices that reduce the transmission of pathogens from sources off of your farm.
  2. This includes the management of routine visitors such as the milk truck, feed deliveries, custom harvesters, borrowed equipment, etc.
  3. External bio security also provides for the management of bought animals.


  1. Internal bio security refers to procedures and practices on the farm to prevent transmission of pathogens between areas of your farm.
  2. Most harmful diseases within a farm transfer from older animals to younger animals.
  3. An example of an internal bio security practice is to wash boots before entering the calf barn or to have an entirely different set of clothes for working with calves.
  4. Washing boots or having separate clothes helps prevent potentially harmful organisms from being transferred from the cowherd to the calf population.

MY Plan of ACTION:

  • Determine the goal of your bio security
    Is there a specific disease that you are looking to target that you already have? Is there a particular disease you are worried about acquiring? These are good questions to start with and can determine how rigorous your bio security protocols need to be. If you don’t have a specific goal, ask your dairy team for ideas. A lot of times they have some great ideas to take into consideration.
  • Talk with your veterinarian and get them involved
    Your veterinarian is one of the only people you work with that can comment on your entire system and how everything works together. They have specific bio security training that can help you develop a plan that targets your most significant transmission risks.
    Calf Star has products to help your Bio Security needs, check out our product Habiguard, a chlorine dioxide powder that can be sprinkled on floors to kill bacteria and clean floors.

An interesting link to view on Bio Security is: Dairy Farms Bio security to Protect against Infectious Diseases and Antibiotics Overuse | IntechOpen

A follow up on sanitation is always Gold Standard when dealing with calves.

Let Calf Star be your go to for your calf feeding needs.

Until next month.

Minnie Ward

Calf Star





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