Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Clean Calf Feeders

When feeding your calves, you will want to be sure that your calf feeders are as clean as possible to help keep from spreading disease among your herd.

So how do you clean calf feeders?

You will need to be sure that everything that is used for calf feeding is cleaned and sanitized thoroughly after each and every feeding. This will include balling guns and stomach tubes. Nipple buckets should also be taken apart and cleaned.

You should be sure to have enough calf feeders and other feeding utensils on hand so that you are able to clean and disinfect between uses, this is especially important on sick calves. If you need to use nipples or buckets for multiple calves during feeding, then you will need to disinfect between calves.

How to clean:
  • Rinse utensils in cold or lukewarm water - hot water makes milk proteins stick to surfaces
  • After rinsing, use water that is at least 120 degrees F that contains a detergent and a disinfectant. Let the equipment soak in this solution as long as possible. To make solution use 1 cup of household-strength bleach in 5 gallons of very hot water. Dump nipples into the solution. Fill the bottles with it.
  • Use a wash acid at a rate of 1 ounce per 5 gallons of lukewarm water to get rid of any remaining milk solids on the containers. The majority of bacteria cannot grow in very acid conditions. Acid sanitizers that are designed for the manual cleaning of bulk tanks work well in this application.
  • After washing rinse again in cold water.
If you follow these steps it will help to cut down on the disease and germs that your calves are exposed to. 

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