Meet Montgomery. Montgomery is a heifer (female) calf on our farm. She thought it would be fun to say "hi" this morning when I was feeding her and her other herdmates. Since the cold weather is subsiding, the calves get more lively, they like spring also!
She, like all of our other calves is raised in this calf hut for the first 2 months of her life. This hut is a plastic dome, which can be cleaned and disinfected between calves. We treat our calves like newborn babies, keeping them in sanitary environments, giving them a good start.
Giving calves a good start is critical to a healthy lifetime. That good start actually begins with good care of our cows (the mom's). Last night we were taking care of one of those mom's. We stayed up all night with a cow who was delivering her calf. We started to see signs of her labor at about 10pm. Cow's have no sense of time ;) We checked on her every 2 hours, taking naps in between check ups. Each time she was a little bit closer to delivery. At 3:30am cow #97 delivered a beautiful baby boy (bull)! While a heifer is prefered on a dairy farm, a live bull calf is also a blessing. Mom was given lots of warm water to drink, and time with her bull calf to lick him off and help him walk for the first time. Shortly there after. our baby boy was moved to one of these huts. He was given lots of clean dry bedding (soybean and wheat straw). He was also given a vaccine to prevent any "childhood" diseases that he might get and he was given over a gallon of colostrum, or "first milk" from his mother. After a big feeding, he was ready for a long nap.
Each of our calves get this love and care everytime one is gifted to us. New born baby calves give us hope for a new born Spring!