Bovine respiratory health
- Lungs develop relatively late in life, only when the calf is 2 years old, are the lungs fully mature. As a result, they have very little reserve capacity
- Calf airways are relatively narrow, so get easily blocked
- Calf lungs are heavily segmented, and each segment has only one entry point for the airways. If that entry point is blocked, the entire segment does not function any more
The calf first increases mucus production which helps it to clear its airways. This is why calves often have a runny nose. If the calf fails to clear the airways this way, it is time to act.