Bottle Feeding!

This is our youngest baby calf, born on Monday of this week! He is a very active little calf, and loves to try to follow me around the greenhouse while I feed the other calves. He was tied up in the greenhouse while I was getting a calf pen ready for him, and he loved wandering as far as the rope would let him trying to suck on my pants! You can see here he got himself a little tangled up in his rope! I feed him last because all the other calves drink their milk out of buckets, but until 5 or 6 days of age he will get bottle fed.

Calves love sucking on things! Bottles, my hands, my pants, my boots, the metal of their pens, each other… pretty much anything they can get their mouths on! Which is why we keep them in separate pens especially when they are young. All that chasing me around and drinking is hard work! Afterward he takes a little rest in the hay – but even though he is laying down, he never stops being curious!

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7 Responses to Bottle Feeding!

  1. baharb says:

    why aren’t they allowed to breastfeed? just curious.

    • lawtonsfarm says:

      Can I say it is because cows don’t have breasts?

      Perhaps you are asking why we don’t let the calves nurse?

      There are many reasons. Some of our priorities at the farm are food safety and milk quality. Because dairy calves are indescriminate suckers (they will nurse on anything that will let them, including other baby calves) leaving them with the cows in the herd would lead to bacteria transfer between cows and more mammary health, food safety and milk quality concerns.
      Also, we want to be sure that each calf gets as much immune-boosting colostrum as it needs. This is important to be sure the calf gets a good healthy start in life.
      Another reason is that bottle feeding let’s us keep our calves healthier. If a calf isn’t feeling well it usually doesn’t eat enough, and then can get sicker. If the calf is bottle-fed, we will know right away if it isn’t feeling well and start taking special care of it right away. If it is nursing, it takes longer to identify a calf that needs special attention, and that can make a big difference in terms of how much and what kind of medicine a calf will need (asprin vs antibiotics).

  2. dhiraj says:

    Hi,
    Love your new website!
    We would like to have colostrum for our baby, please let us know when can it be possible.
    Thanks!

    • lawtonsfarm says:

      Sometimes the cows have way more colostrum than their calf can eat. When that happens we make the extra available. We don’t have any cows due to calve until August, so that is the soonest we could have any available. I suggest you check in then to see if Rosita the cow has colostrum to spare.

  3. Beth says:

    Hi! I’m a very happy raw milk customer. May I ask if the male calves stay with you on the farm? Or are they given away/sold at a certain age?

    • lawtonsfarm says:

      That is a really good question! I’m glad you asked.

      We raise the bull calves on milk, with access to pasture, water etc until they weigh about 300 lb, which usually takes 3-4 months. At that point we bring them to our favorite butcher who turns them into incredibly delicious veal.
      After the meat is cut, packaged and frozen, we bring it back to the farm, where you can buy it as cutlets, stew, chops etc at our farmstand. (You can find out more under the ‘Beef and Veal’ tab.)
      All our veal calves get names and live happy, if short, lives.

      • Beth says:

        I picked up my milk today and saw a flier advertising the humanely raised veal – and then felt really stupid for having just asked that question! lol! Made some great raw milk ice cream in my vitamix tonight – I love that my lactose intolerant daughter can have it with no problems!

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