Among factors that can affect calf health, microbial quality of the pen air is poorly studied. In 25 Italian dairy farms, data concerning air quality in the calf pens, hygiene of pens and equipment, microclimatic conditions, calf health and management were collected during the winter season (January-March 2020 and December-March 2021). The average air Standard Plate Count (SPC) of 85 pens was 4.51 (SD = 0.52) log10 cfu/m3 whereas the average air ammonia concentration was 0.66 (SD = 0.53) ppm. Positive correlations were found between average Temperature Humidity Index (THI) in the pen and air SPC, night maximum THI and air SPC and between SPC and yeast, mould and ammonia concentration in the pen air. The concentrations of E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts in the pen air were higher and calf cough increased as the renewal interval of bedding material became longer. High bedding dry matter and low THI were associated with low air SPC, good calf health scores and low mortality. Maintaining low bedding humidity and controlling microclimatic conditions can contribute to enhancing air microbiological quality in the pen and reduce calf diseases and mortality.

Air Quality, Management Practices and Calf Health in Italian Dairy Cattle Farms / S. Bonizzi, G. Gislon, M. Brasca, S. Morandi, A. Sandrucci, M. Zucali. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 12:17(2022 Sep 03), pp. 2286.1-2286.16. [10.3390/ani12172286]

Air Quality, Management Practices and Calf Health in Italian Dairy Cattle Farms

S. Bonizzi;G. Gislon;A. Sandrucci
;
M. Zucali
2022

Abstract

Among factors that can affect calf health, microbial quality of the pen air is poorly studied. In 25 Italian dairy farms, data concerning air quality in the calf pens, hygiene of pens and equipment, microclimatic conditions, calf health and management were collected during the winter season (January-March 2020 and December-March 2021). The average air Standard Plate Count (SPC) of 85 pens was 4.51 (SD = 0.52) log10 cfu/m3 whereas the average air ammonia concentration was 0.66 (SD = 0.53) ppm. Positive correlations were found between average Temperature Humidity Index (THI) in the pen and air SPC, night maximum THI and air SPC and between SPC and yeast, mould and ammonia concentration in the pen air. The concentrations of E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts in the pen air were higher and calf cough increased as the renewal interval of bedding material became longer. High bedding dry matter and low THI were associated with low air SPC, good calf health scores and low mortality. Maintaining low bedding humidity and controlling microclimatic conditions can contribute to enhancing air microbiological quality in the pen and reduce calf diseases and mortality.
dairy farm management; air quality; microbial contamination; calf health
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/937572
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