Blog Statement

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

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March 18, 2011

The Surrogate Cow

Just the other day, when I was trying to capture a calf birthing on video, in the calf barn {which I missed by the way} I snapped a few photos of a baby calf nursing on mama.  How picture perfect and mama wasn't too concerned that I was standing only a few feet from her and the baby.

But the most interesting thing about this photo is, this was not her own calf.

It is interesting that some cows will allow any calf to suckle, while there are others who will push away a calf that is not her own.  This cow is just happy to have any calf nursing off her to relieve her of her milk? 

It's no wonder why dairy cows seem to really enjoy and look forward to milking time in the milking parlor twice a day.

This cute little calf {one of a set of twins} followed this mama everywhere, even though her own mama was in the same barn.

From what I've witnessed with the calves, their top priority is to find milk.  Whether it be from a cow, a bottle or a bucket, they seem to be satisfied if the end result finds them some milk to drink.  And after drinking milk or eating, a nice, long nap is in order.

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TexWisGirl said...

So cute. Amazing that the mom is not territorial with her udder!

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

I'd be territorial with my udder... just saying. lol. But good for them :D

Alica @ Happily married to the cows said...

How interesting...I've never seen any of our cows accept another's calf!
Yes...that food's what makes Holsteins such good milkers! :) Ours think they need something to eat each and every time they see us!

Janice Grinyer said...

I think instead of calling her by her number, you should call her "Salma" ...after Salma Hayek!!!

Michelle said...

How sweet...and so nice of that cow!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, twins! We almost never have those - tho most jerseys aren't big enough to handle twins. Do you get them often?
We have several cows who will try to adopt every calf born. The momma's will sometimes even fight them off. Usually you can tell if a calf has been born because there's 5 or 6 cows all huddled together licking on it.

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

@Milkmaid09, we actually get quite a few sets of twins that are born here...I think this was at least the third set just since January.

Jen said...

Such an amazing picture!! Living in the Cities, I sure miss this kind of stuff! ;-)

Happy Weekend Dear! xo

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Have you seen the documentary Babies? I found it really interesting that the mom in Namibia would let other babies that were not her own come up and nurse.

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

@Lisa, I haven't seen that documentary, I'll have to check it out, sounds interesting:) Thanks for stopping by!

Texas Land Sales said...

Great post, thanks for sharing. The photos looks fascinating. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it.

MadSnapper said...

ssoooo cute, love that baby. i love cows and horses and dogs and cats and all things with 4 legs including bunnies, which i saw on one of your post.