Thursday, April 9, 2009

Farm visit

I visited the dairy farm the other day to get milk, and when I got there I discovered my camera in my coat pocket. I couldn't resist a few photos (with permission) of the animals.

The air was a little chilly. Apparently cows make good hot water bottles.

This pretty girl will soon (a few days?) be having her first calf. Her udder is starting to 'bag up' (get bigger). But since this is her first, her teats are itty bitty. You can hardly see them, just in front of her rear leg.

Here's the newest arrival, less than a day old. A handsome bull calf. Such tiny hooves!

And such a long tongue!

And lastly, a new litter of piglets, Just a week or so old. The mother is a Berkshire, the father a Chester White. Hard to believe that in just nine months these little piggies will weigh over 200 pounds.

I love visiting the farm. Love love love it.


Karen said...

I always feel so bad when the cows and especially the calves are tied up all day. Does your farmer friend allow the cows/calves out to play too?? I love the pic of the kittie on the cow's back!!

Jo said...

The calf is tied up for a day or so while it is fed colostrum from its mother. Then it is put into a 'calf-hut' for several more days while it is bottle fed and introduced to silage and grain. Then the heifers are put into a larger corral with other calves. At some point she is allowed out into a pasture with other young heifers.

The bull calves get sold a few days after birth. Don't ask where they end up.

The adult cows are only kept in their stanchions all day when the weather outside is bad, or when the barnyard is too muddy after a rain. At least that's how it is at this dairy. Large commercial dairies do it a whole lot different.

Jo said...

Just to correct myself, I think the calves are bottle fed for more than just a few days. Probably a few months, actually.