Zooming Autumn Calves

Fri, 13/11/2020 - 18:10pm

If you subscribe to our monthly (ish) email newsletter you'll already have seen the story behind this photo, and it's also the story behind why we had a camera in the with the calves last weekend. Basically our autumn calves started arriving a few weeks ago, and now that the weather has turned colder and the grass has stopped growing, we've moved the herd inside for the winter. 

Calving is going well and the first calves to arrive are absolutely thriving. This photo was taken in the calf creep area of the dairy, which is the crèche area. The calves can come and go from here as they please but a little barrier prevents adult cattle from entering. So, it's a safe space for them to hang out with their peers, and they are thoroughly enjoying it! 

At this time of year the cows eat silage, which is fermented grass that we cut and preserved during the summer months. We supplement the cows' winter food with lucerne pellets each evening - pelletised alfalfa - which is a natural way to supplement the cows' mineral intake. 

Over the last couple of weeks the young calves have been using this evening feeding time to go a bit bonkers in the calf creep area. Maybe it's attention seeking when their mums are focused on their evening food? Whatever is causing the zoomies, it's great fun to watch!  

We had hoped to catch a clip of them doing this when we took the camera down to the dairy last weekend, but it wasn't to be. Anything that's even the slightest bit different from their normal routine is suspicious, and so, as you can see, they put their serious faces on, looked at the camera and just stared us out. We'll try to catch them unawares another time!

Meanwhile, in the maternity wing of the dairy...