Our heifer calves are the future of our herd, which is why we are always looking for new innovative ideas and ways to improve our heifer program.
Our calves are raised in group housing which is similar to “daycare” where they learn social skills from an early age.
Calf Care begins at Birth
A healthy calf begins before she has even arrived! Our new maternity barn was designed to give our cows a clean, comfortable and calm place to calve.
Our close-up cows (a group of cows that are within 3 weeks of their due date) are monitored hourly. When they show symptoms of being close to calving they are moved into a calving pen deeply bedded with clean straw. There they continue to be monitored until their calf arrives.
We then make sure to give the calf high quality colostrum (Mom's first milk), which is full of antibodies to kickstart their immune system.
State of the Art Calf Barn...all you can eat buffet
Our calves have access to milk 24 hours a day and learn to self feed within a matter of days!
By always having full access to milk, our calves are able to simulate nature better by having several small meals throughout the day. We believe this structure produces calves with healthier digestion leading to higher growth rates.
Fun Fact: Our calves average about 90 pounds at birth and grow 2 pounds a day while on milk! They more than double their birthweight before weaning.
State of the Art Calf Barn...fresh air
We also designed a state of the art ventilation system to keep the air quality as crisp as it can possibly be.
Just like with people, fresh air with a clean and dry environment, is the best way to keep calves healthy and growing. Our calves are deeply bedded with a combination of straw and shavings that keeps them dry and preserves the air quality.
In the winter months, our calves even get warm & cozy coats to wear as well!
Beyond the Calf Barn
After weaning our calves graduate to "school-age", the group sizes slowly increase as their social skills develop. We take great care in making each transition seamless for them. We work with our nutritionist to make sure the diet is always balanced, our vet to make sure our vaccination protocols are on point, and we continue to put emphasis on always providing a clean and dry environment.
Our heifers (female) typically enter our herd as a milking animal at 23 months.