Calf Housing: Part 2 Positive Pressure Ventilation Systems

David Kammel, PhD, Biological Systems Engineering Professor for UW-Madison/UWEX and Dr. Vicky Lauer, DVM, Professional Services Veterinarian with ANIMART continue the discussion about calf housing in this podcast about positive pressure ventilation systems.

Moderator:

Liz Binversie, UW-Extension Brown County Agriculture Educator

Panelists:

David Kammel, PhD, Biolological Systems Engineering Professor, UW-Madison/UWEX

Dr. Vicky Lauer, DVM, Professional Services Veterinarian, ANIMART

 

Total time: 3:45 minutes

TRANSCRIPT

 Liz Binversie: Good morning. My name is Liz Binversie, the Brown County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator, and today we’re continuing our discussion about calf housing facilities and considerations with a focus on positive pressure ventilation systems. And with me today is David Kammel, Biological Systems Engineering professor at UW-Madison Cooperative Extension, as well as Dr. Vicky Lauer, Professional Services Veterinarian at ANIMART. So let’s get right into it. What are some considerations for positive pressure ventilation for calf facilities? Dr. Vicky, what are your thoughts on this?

Dr. Vicky Lauer: So since calf barns are becoming much more common now and popular—just because people want to work in better conditions during the winter—positive pressure ventilation systems are becoming much more important because as Dr. David mentioned, calf hutches really are the best for air quality but we can get fairly close in a calf barn by using a positive pressure ventilation system. So in case you haven’t seen these before, it’s fairly simple. There is a fan that draws air from outside into a tube which runs the length of the barn. The tube has holes placed all throughout the length of the tube, and then they are designed to blow air down to about the level of the calf without drafting the calf. These systems should be designed by professionals who’ve been trained. I pretty commonly see systems that are designed by say the builder and unfortunately sometimes they don’t work. So if you go to the Dairyland Initative website, they have a list of trained professionals that you can contact to design a positive pressure ventilation system for your farm. And then another important thing is that these systems should run all the time in the winter. If you have a naturally ventilated calf barn, then you would actually close the barn completely up and then just run the PPV system all winter long. David, do you have any additional comments?

David Kammel:  So, yes Dr. Vicky it is very important for somebody that has worked with these systems before to design them properly. Probably the worst problems I see are the system was designed and there’s a fan, there’s a tube, but it’s the incorrect size. And then the farmers are a little discouraged because it’s not working right, the air quality isn’t what they thought it might be. So getting the tube size, the fan size properly done, the holes locations properly done, should be done by somebody that’s on the Dairyland Initiative. They go through training. I’ve gone through the training several times. I know a lot of different veterinarians and some suppliers who’ve gone through the training but there are a lot of systems out there where the farmer just goes to the local supply store, buys the fan, buys a tube, doesn’t really know, hasn’t really gone through any design, puts it in themselves and it doesn’t work.

Liz Binversie: Well thank you to our panel, David Kammel Biological Systems Engineering professor at UW-Madison Cooperative Extension, as well as Dr. Vicky Lauer, Professional Services Veterinarian at ANIMART. This is Liz Binversie, the Brown County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator, signing off for today by saying I hope you’ll join me next week for Part 3: Types of Bedding and Bedding Considerations.

 

If you would like to hear more podcasts like this one, visit our website at www.fyi.uwex.edu/agpodcasts.