Sanitizing Calving Operations Part 1

Sanitizing Calving Operations Part 1

Sanitizing Calving Operations with Chlorine Dioxide: Part 1

Chlorine Dioxide is a very effective disinfectant for Cryptosporidium parvum.  Not only is Chlorine Dioxide an effective disinfectant, it also migrates into and destroys the biofilm habitat that harbors these dangerous organisms.  Biofilm is defined as a thin resistant layer of microorganisms (such as bacteria) that form and coat various surfaces.

Those caring for the calves in dairy operations have discovered that Cryptosporidium can be a very persistent and difficult organism to eradicate.  The best control regiment starts with strict hygiene by cleaning calf hutches, feeding equipment, and the housing area where the calves are maintained.  The calving and housing environment should be clean and dry all the while working to minimize the new born calf’s exposure to the organism.  The calf care team should maintain clean clothing, footwear and utilize nitrile gloves to protect both the calves and themselves.  A good practice to follow is to feed the new born calves first and then proceed to the older – always thinking of minimizing exposure to the most vulnerable.  If there is any way to break containment by spacing hutches or pens by calf’s age or capacity will also help to minimize exposure to the organism.

While proper hygiene and facility cleanliness can help manage infection rates, Cryptosporidium produces oocytes that are resistant to most disinfectants including Chlorine bleach.  Fortunately, the sanitizing disinfectant of Chlorine Dioxide when prepared at the correct concentration and length of exposure has been found to be effective in eliminating and thus controlling the negative effects of this organism – plus it migrates into and destroys the biofilm.  It not only controls Cryptosporidium, it also works effectively against mycoplasma, chlamydia, fungal spores, parvovirus, protozoan cysts, giardia cysts, yeast and mold spores, Salmonella, E. coli, rotavirus, coronavirus, algae and gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.  Chlorine Dioxide is definitely a strong tool you need to protect your calves, yourself and your future milking herd!

In Part 2, I’ll go into detail on proper preparation and application as it relates to the safety of the calf care team and the calves.  Also, we work with and/or at the recommendation of your herd veterinarian.  The ProActive Solutions USA Animal Health and Hygiene Specialists are committed to adding animal health security and value to your operation.




James Martin

Animal Health and Hygiene Specialist – ProActive Solutions USA

James provides over 30 years of animal industry leadership experience in both artificial insemination of dairy and beef cattle and also dairy chemical and sanitation applications.  Degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Animal Science.


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