We moved a new calf to the calf barn this morning. This is the most important time of his, in this case, life after calving. The care he receives right now will affect how he grows and how healthy he will become. We will make sure he has the right amount of milk for his growth stage every day. We will also provide fresh, clean water and hay. His stall would not be complete without having clean, fluffy straw to lay on to keep him clean and warm.
While we do not name our calves, we do give each a number so that we can keep track of them throughout their life. Keeping records about growth, weight, medicine, and management are all integral parts of raising calves.
I enjoy feeding and caring for our calves. It is a very personal thing to help nurture something all the way up to its full potential. I cannot help but feel sad when one of our calves has become ill, as all animals sometimes do. Knowing that I am responsible for each of them to stay well and grow strong is a burden I gladly bear. The future of dairying begins with each calf.