Monday, February 9, 2015

Dairy Farmers And Bull Calves

This the last two weeks I've had some "interesting," for lack of a better word, comments on Twitter. I'm not the only one, either, as Heim Dairy's apt put Farmers Are People blog post states.

One of the "facts" that I got hit with was that dairy farmers kill every bull calf that is born. I can't understand why anyone would draw that conclusion. This would be like flushing money down the toilet.

Money Toilet via PixGood

Bulls Vs. Heifers

baby calf
Baby calf drinking milk

On our farm it makes no difference if the calves are bulls or heifers in how we raise them. They are side by side in our calf barn and other pens. They receive the same feed and the same care. Obviously the heifers are worth more in the long run because they will join the milk herd when they reach maturity. The bulls are valuable because they supplement our income in the short term.

We raise our bulls until they are no more than six months old and sell them as steers. Yes, they will be raised for beef. With less beef on the market and therefore higher prices it only makes sense that bull calves are valuable now and any other time.

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