After feeding baby calves this morning, I went back to look at each calf that has been born since the beginning of September. We have added twenty to our group so far and about eighty more to be born! Although we will have calves born through the year, we usually have a group of heifers to calve in the fall. We will have a total of thirty heifers this fall. Adding heifers to the milking herd is important to the future of our farm. It's one of my daily jobs to feed and monitor the health of each calf when brought to the calf hutch area. For the first eight weeks, each calf is raised in an individual hutch, fed milk and grain twice a day and monitored closely for any illness.
While I was checking calves, Casey was in the pasture checking on the cows and heifers that will be calving today and in the next two weeks. Next to the calves in hutches is a group of babies that we weaned last week. As I looked at each group, I thought about this full cycle of growth and development of our dairy cattle. Everyday on the farm we are taking care of our animals through every phase of their growth by providing nutritious food, appropriate medical care and comfortable surroundings. Caring for our animals is how we provide quality milk!