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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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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 Bryce is doing here with his very own calf,  named Bucket.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment, I love to hear from you!. Have a fantastic day!

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TexWisGirl said...

reminds me of when i was a kid and had to cross thru the heifer barn to get to the mow to see the kittens. terrified and tried to act 'cool and in control'. :)

Robyn said...

I have heard Holstein bulls can be very mean. What a creative way to mix up milk replacer and that is a lot of milk replacer! Better to have the smell out in the barn v. in the house entry. In 2008 I had several bottle lambs, I got so tired of the milk replacer smell and stickiness.

Anonymous said...

you need to carry a big stick, I think holstein bulls have a mean streak and they know when you are scared of them.

Anna said...

I like your milk cleaner! Lol

Anonymous said...


Michelle said...

The kids look like they are having a great time :)

Nancy said...

When we had my sister's bull on the farm last year, he got out and I had to lead him back to the pasture with a bucket of grain. It was a scary experience to say the least.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I got charged by a bull when I was 7 and it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. Shudder!

trump said...

I'm not worried about bulls, its those crazy roosters that i look out for. For some reason me and roosters don't mix, which is why i try and eat them as much as possible. Richard from Amish Stories.

Cheryl said...

Nancy, we had a friend who was almost killed recently by his holstein dairy bull. We do all AI here, because we feel the risk is way too great. I think you and the kids needs to find a way to NOT enter the pen with that bull. When it takes 5 shots to the head to bring down a bull that is trying to kill someone, you don't want to mess with it. On a happier note, though, love baby calves at that age. And I actually like the smell of milk replacer :)

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

I'd have my good eye on those bulls too! And the kids look like they are having a blast. No wonder they are always willing to help ;)

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

hi nancy...about the eggplant parmesan...any tomato sauce will do...whatever you have on hand ...


happy to see you today, my friend

kary and teddy from SLO