There’s something unearthly beautiful about jersey calves, and it’s difficult to capture it fully in a picture. With careful attention to breeding dates and cow care, we get to enjoy newborn calves all year round and count it as a great blessing. With the weather turning into the wet and cold characteristic of early winter, our calves need extra attention to stay warm, dry and healthy. Doris, who has been raising every calf for the dairy since it started over 30 years ago, keeps a watchful eye as she feeds them night and morning, and often returns several times throughout the day to care for any that are under the weather or questionable.
Some measures that she takes to keep the calves comfortable are placing warm calf jackets on them, keeping them bedded in dry straw, and providing them with a well balanced diet to keep them strong. They are each housed individually at first before graduating to group housing after a few months. At all times, they have access to shelter to stay out of the weather, as well as hay and a special mix of grains and minerals to maintain optimum health.
The calves born in this colder weather have longer, thicker fur than those born in the summer time. As Dale manages the breeding of the cows, he does his best to keep the cows from delivering their calves in the coldest part of the winter. But it seems every year there are one or two that come as a surprise at the coldest time possible, and we get to utilize special procedures to care for the cow and calf. We have heat lamps, blankets, seemingly endless supply of straw, and nutrient rich colostrum to get the calf off to a great start. We enjoy every cow and getting to be a part of her life from the very beginning throughout all her days. Come by the dairy and feel free to ask questions, we love talking about our cows!