I also have this lil heifer who drinks her milk so daintily, what a lil lady! The calves here at Watertown Holsteins are fed a bottle for two weeks. Then they drink milk from a clean bucket for four to five weeks depending on their needs and growth. They also receive fresh water and grain multiple times everyday.
My baby calves are acting more like tigers these days. They have been bending their bottle rack holders!!! 😀 But I am not complaining haha! Means they are healthy, happy and hungry!
This is my third video while finishing up my time in the calf raising part of the farm. Gives you a little more insight into raising calves. Hope you enjoy! 🙂
One of my favorite shots yet, called ‘Morning Munchies’. The dairy cattle always have access to clean water and feed on the farm, even at 6 a.m. in the morning! In fact the water tubs have their own cleaning schedule, and there is always someone on duty who solely pushes up feed for the cows, calves, and bulls at Maddox Dairy.
I got to feed milk to the calves today! My new title: Ana Schweer the milk tank moooover! Ha! A video about feeding calves is coming soon!
Take a look into Maddox Dairy through my video blog. A great farm, great family, lots of great people. This is my second video, week two. Just shows you around the place a little more and a few other things too. Hope you enjoy! 🙂 Something not in the video, the calves are fed milk twice a day as well as grain three times a day. Any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the ask me anything button.
Cleaning all over the farm happens everyday. From the milking parlor, sand bedded freestalls to the bulk tank. However earlier today I cleaned the calf barn floors, which is done everyday. Then when I got home today I had to clean my kitchen, bathroom, vacuum the carpet and and sweep the patio outside! Cleaning chores are sometimes things we all dread doing. But farmers do them day in and day out to ensure the product leaving their farm is worthy of you and your family’s consumption. Thank you Lord for creating a broom/dustpan, a hose, a pair of glove, rubber boots and two hands and feet to work with!
Today the high temperature at Maddox Dairy was over 100! But just because the weather gets hot doesn’t mean farmers take a break. Even in smokin’ weather here’s a typical day of raising calves on the farm. Everything gets rolling bright and early at 5:30 a.m. First the calves are given fresh grain. Then they are bedded with wood chips. Next the calves get very exited because they know their milk (out of two feedings) is coming! In preparation, the milk is brought over from the pasteurizer inside the machine you see above, the mooooving milk tank (not to be confused with a cow ;)) If more milk is needed than what’s been given from the cow hospital, a 20% fat and 20% protein milk replacer and hot water are added to make up the difference. A 2X High Potency Vitamin Mixture and Bovamine are also mixed in the milk to give the calves an extra edge for health and growth purposes. Beyond those two mixtures calves under 21 days of age are given an antibacterial, called NeoMed 325, in the milk to support good health. Next a refractometer measures the milk for consistent and adequate solids (milkfat and protein). Then when the milk is between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, we can start feeding! The calves are fed certain quantities of milk according to their age. So as they get older, they receive more. Following the milk, calves are also given Dairy Lyte Electrolytes every morning in the summer. Regardless of how many calves, they are all fed in the same order every day. Calves only receive a bottle for three days, and on day four are trained to a bucket. As the calves are being fed, Nato, the calf manager checks each calf (yes, all now 900 of them). If he finds a sick calf, he will leave a sign for it to be checked and then it will be treated as soon as possible. Jesus and Nato treat the sick calves. After feeding, Jesus and Nato walk through the barns and by all of the hutches looking for signs of sickness such as heavy breathing, which could be pneumonia, and treat the calves accordingly. They make a note of the date and what they treated the calf with on each calf’s paper (as you see above to the right in the ‘Hey baby!’ photo). They also write down the date, the treatment and the calf’s herd number in a notebook. Later Nato and Jesus fill out a daily calf report that will be put into the herd DHI plus computer records system. Calves are also on a strict vaccination schedule, allowing them to build their immune system for a healthy and strong future. Beyond all of that, calves ready for weaning are moved into new pens together. During down times of the day cleaning as well as daily maintenance of the equipment, barns and hutches takes place. Lastly, with the hot weather, water is given as many times as needed by the reliable, Gustavo, pictured above.