The calves are my favourite part of the farm. I’d love to tell you it’s because of their innocence, the new life in the world etc. But really it’s because they are cute and not as scary as their mums and dads! I’m working hard to get over my fear of cows.
Feeding the calves is the best bit. They are fed from a milk bar with teats, like a trough in sections with a teat on each section to make sure that each calf gets the right amount. They don’t always realise what they have to do, and have to be taught to suck from the teat initially. There is nothing more satisfying than a calf that finally gets the idea of how to drink! When the calves are first born they are fed colostrum (the mothers first milk) to ensure they get all of the nutrients and antibodies that the mother has to offer. As they get older they progress through milk to milk powder, and finally to hard feed which is a mixture of calf nuts, rolled barley and other feeds.
The calves go through a rigorous routine at feeding time. After being fed they must then run around their pens as if being alive is just the best thing in the whole wide world (and I suppose they are right). Then it’s nap time.
We could learn a lot from calves.