Better care for bobby calves

There’s some good news about the welfare of our most vulnerable charges: young calves.

I hate selling any of our animals but we simply can’t keep all the bull calves. Our solution is to sell them to a neighbour over the river who grows them out until they are big, powerful two-year-olds. Not all dairy farmers have this option though and send them to market as young “bobby” calves.

For a long time now, there have been standards to ensure they are strong enough and fully fed before they leave the farm but once we hand over their custodianship, we could only rely on the decency of their buyers. The good news is that while governments have not been able to reach a consensus, the people involved with bobby calves have taken the lead and announced new national standards concerning their care.

The electronic scanning technology is already in place to make sure the standards are kept and I really hope that monitoring reveals the people who take calves from farms are already doing better than we expect.

7 thoughts on “Better care for bobby calves

  1. Interesting Marian. The libbers are kicking up a stink over the 30 hour max curfew. Trying to explain to those people it’s better to be curfewed than trucked full is impossible. Then they go and post photos of dead stock off trucks who have obviously not been drained. They want it both ways, don’t they?

    • I think it’s good that animal welfare bodies apply pressure to ensure everyone who handles animals does so with the greatest care possible. Sometimes it’s tricky to work out what that means in practical terms though, isn’t it? Fantastic that all the groups involved with bobby calves were able to examine the issues cooperatively.

  2. What proportion of your bull calves do you keep? What happens to them at age 2 next door? How big is your dairy farm? What is different about it and the way you produce dairy compared to a big industrial farm? Really. I want to understand. Your web site is a good start but it’s short on detail.

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