Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

July 25, 2011

Road Block to the Calf Barn

If you've been following along with me for a while, you then know my story on bulls and how they seem to always seek me out, well, once again I had a road block to my destination.

On route to the calf barn, where the kids were 'helping daddy', the path takes you through a paddock area between the milking parlor and freestall barns to the left and a dry lot area, where a string of cows gather on the right.  Charlie, the bull, stands between me and my kids. 

I'm terrified of most bulls, but most especially of Holstein bulls.  They just seem to be more aggressive and protective.

My game plan:  {photos are not zoomed in}
Walk calmly, do not run, past Charlie.

Look confident as I'm walking.














Never turn my back to Charlie.  As you can see, he does the same for me.













Almost home free.  Charlie only took a few steps and snorted once.













Phew!  I could now bring my heart rate back down.....not exaggerating.  Once in the calf barn, with the gate latched, I felt very safe.

Bryce and Paige set themselves on the task of mixing up milk replacer for the older calves.  Once a calf reaches 40 days old, she is put into a shared pen with other calves close to her own age and is fed milk replacer, which is similar to baby formula for humans.  Up to 40 days old, the calves are fed their mother's milk, along with grain and fresh water.

















This can be a very messy job, especially when the bucket is almost half the size of your own body.


















And what I think is the absolute most fun about having messy, milky hands is,













walking over to your choice of one of the many 'cleaners' to have your hands licked and sucked clean.....as Bryce is doing here with his very own calf,  named Bucket.


















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