The Youngest Members of the Herd
- Our baby calves are born in special birthing pens with thick, dry bedding. A calf is usually about 75 pounds when it’s born, and will stand and begin to nurse from its mother within a few hours.
- Newborns are fed high-quality colostrum—the cow’s first milk after calving is chock-full of the nutrients baby calves need.
- Heifer calves are given their own pens in a greenhouse or a “hutch” with clean, dry bedding—placed in a protected spot out of the wind that allows fresh air and sunshine into the calf’s pen.
- Whether kicking up their heels, or nestling into a sunny corner to rest, our calves can move around freely.
- The calves have access to their own feed and water, and our farmers can keep an eye on each individual’s growth and health.
- At about eight weeks old, they’re moved into a group pen with three or four other heifers their age—some of our farmers say this is like going to kindergarten.
- A young heifer is ready to be bred when she’s about a year old. Once she’s confirmed to be carrying a calf, a heifer is sent out to graze on pasture to prepare for calving.