Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cows leaving their calves behind...

If you are reading this blog, you are acutely aware of the issues we've had with cows leaving their calves behind when they move to a new pasture. It's created significant stress on both the calves and us...there's not much worse than observing a hundred baby calves walking around an empty pasture, completely lost, bawling and trying to find mom! I'm confident this stress has been an integral part of some of the sickness (and death) issues we've been dealing with. We've actually had cows walk away from calves that are still wet when they have a chance to go to new grass. This can't be good and it's been probably our biggest challenge. I've just finished reading Temple Grandin's "Humane Livestock Handling" and Temple addresses this exact problem. Unfortunately she doesn't provide a step by step guide of how to eliminate this behavior, but she does offer some advice. We will be attempting to implement some new "moving" procedures that I hope will curb some of the issues we have with the cows leaving their calves behind and hopefully reduce the amount of stress experienced by the calves (and us!) Keep your fingers crossed!

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