Jan
17
2013
Patty Littlefield
Posted by Patty Littlefield @ 2:03:AM

So you want to bottle feed a baby calf, huh? Sounds pretty simple. Just hold a bottle of milk up to a calf and watch her suck, right? You’re in for a big surprise, my friend.

Baby calves are the next generation of the “big girls in the barn” so they get the best possible care. Every precaution is taken to be sure the milk they get is just as pure and wholesome as the milk that leaves the farm on the way to the processing plant. Milk for calves is pasteurized and put into sanitized bottles (I bet that’s new information to most of you, right?) Can you imagine the chore of washing and sanitizing all those bottles if you had 600 baby calves? It takes a while. Most large dairies have a wash station with bottle in racks positioned so hot soapy water sprays up into the bottles from below. Something like the upper rack of your dishwasher at home … only many, many times larger.

A calf bottle holds about a quart of milk and can be attached to the side of the calf’s pen in a wire frame that holds it at the correct angle and secured so the nudging calf can’t push it off. It just takes a few minutes for a hungry calf to drain a bottle and be ready to go back to sleep. This feeding process, along with pasteurization of the milk and sanitizing the bottles, is repeated several times each day until the calves are strong enough to be moved to group pens with other calves.

There’s more to feeding calves than just delivering the bottles. During the feeding rounds, these little girls have to be monitored to be sure they are breathing at the correct rate (just count how many times their rib cages expand and contract.)

At least twice a day, often more, baby calves must be checked to be sure they are breathing correctly, any variation from the norm could be a symptom of illness that requires immediate attention. They have to start life out healthy to produce top quality milk later.

For more information on calf care or dairy farming, check out Dairy MAX's animal care page.

This is the third in a series of life on the farm. Next topic: monitoring baby calves.

« PreviousPost Next Post »

Post Your Comment
Comments on this Post

No one has commented on this page yet.

  • Tag Cloud

#dairychristmas #recipe 4-h 12 days of christmas 2012 abdominal pain abundant food supply academy of nutrition and dietetics ada african americans agriculture american cheese month apps arroz con pollo asian americans athletes baby calf baby calves back to school bacon balanced diet bang for buck bargain baseball believe berry yogurt parfait pancakes bloating blueberry pancake day bottle feeding breakfast brownie budget buffet eating busy moms calcium calf bottle calf care calf health calves carbohydrate carbohydrates carbs cardiovascular and wellness nutritionist caretaker caroline sullivan cereal chaturanga cheddar cheddar and bacon cheesecake cheese cheese sticks chicken recipe chicken salad child's pose child nutrition department child nutritionist children children's diets chocolate chocolate milk chris chamberlain christmas christmas cookies christmas dishes christmas eve christmas flowers christmas food christmas pies christmas presents christmas traditions claudio garcia coffee mug cold weather exercise colostrum comfort food companionship cookie cookie monster cookies cookies and milk cookies with milk cooking cooler bags cost per ounce cost per serving couscous cows cream cheese creative food services cultural cuisine cy-ridge senior high school cypress fairbanks isd dairy dairy calf dairy calves dairy cow dairy cows dairy discovery zone dairy discovery zone virtual tour dairy facts book dairy farm dairy farmers dairy farming dairy foods dairy max dairy nutrition quiz dairypalooza dairy wife dallas cowboys dan the dairyman date night day in the life deana hildebrand deborah taylor del city dessert diabetes diabetic-friendly diarrhea diary diet dietary guidelines for americans dinner dodge dodge ram dogs dried fruit easter eating in moderation eating together eat right every day exercise family family dairy family dinner family farm family fitness family tradition farm farmer farmer expenses farm families farming farm kids farm life farm moms favorite things feeding calves feeding families feeding students flatulence flu food food journaling food pyramid football fresh fuel up to play 60 furry friend galactose garden garden veggie pizza gastrointestinal getting active getting in shape gift baskets glucose gobbly goblin granola snack mix grilled cheese grilled cheese sandwiches grocery prices growing calves guest author guest blogger h-e-b hallmark halloween hawaiian touchdown mac & cheese health health benefits healthier eating healthier halloween healthy healthy breakfast healthy eating healthy halloween ideas healthy plate healthy school breakfast healthy school breakfast – feeding students for success healthy snacks healthy substitutions heart health heb hike hispanic hispanics americans holiday holiday bulge holiday eating holiday entertaining holiday party holiday season holiday weight holiday weight gain home home gym house work houston livestock show & rodeo huevos rancheros human life cycle hunger ice cream ipad iphones ipods irritable bowel syndrome itunes jog junk food kara smith katie barckholtz kid's snacks kid-friendly kids kids' snacks kids cooking kids snacks kitchen gadgets knife lactase lactose lactose free lactose intolerance lactose intolerant lana frantzen leftovers life on farm life on the farm life skill liquid smoke lisa colbert local dairy farmers lomo saltado lunch magic of christmas mid-del schools midwest city milk milk and cookies milk prices milk pricing milk production milkshakes mom mom exercising moms monitoring newborn baby calves on the farm monosaccharides mother motherhood in the herd mothers muscle recovery myplate my plate national brownie day national nutrition month national regifiting day national school lunch week native americans natural sugar new orleans saints nfl nine essential nutrients no kid hungry norman rockwell nutrient nutrient powerhouse nutrients nutrition nuts oklahoma oklahoma action for healthy kids oklahoma city old timer onion paella pancake day pancakes papas papas a la huancaina party eating patty littlefield paul harvey physical activity physical activity challenge picnic pigeon pose pizza pizza cutter planned paradise pleasant hill elementary pooch post-exercise potassium pre-exercise prepackaged president's challenge prevent injury production pumpkin pie quiet mind quinoa recipe recipes reduced lactose refuel regift regifter reindeer resolutions rhonda ross running safe food salt of the earth san antonio stock show & rodeo sandwich sanskrit santa sara branscum sara robbins school school breakfast season of giving shawnee smart snacks smoked cheddar smoked paprika smoky cheddar smoky cheese soup smoothie snacks snopes so god made a farmer soup soup and baked potato sour cream spanish spanish dish spending time with kids spinach sports sports nutrition sporty dog spouses day st. patrick stephanie meshell students sun salutation super bowl susan allen tcu terrie soliz texas thank a farmer thanksgiving thanksgiving tradition think your drink throw a ball traditions treasured items trick or treat twitter university of tulsa urban legends value vitamin d walk yoga yogurt your way

Dairy MAX Blog

Sep
29
Budget-friendly Homemade Chai Coffee Posted by Caroline Sullivan @ Mon, 29 Sep 2014

Every morning for the past week, I’ve been brewing decaf coffee at home....

read more

Dairy MAX on Twitter