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First calves allowed outside

August 20, 2008
Calves drinking outside

We keep our young calves inside a building to protect them from the cold winter weather and to make it easier to feed them. All of our calves are born outside but we bring them indoors within their first 24 hours of life.

As the calves get older and stronger (and the calf pens get fuller) we begin letting them outside during the day so they can play and get some exercise. Calves are of course outdoors animals.

Today we let the first batch of calves outside for the first time and it's hilarious watching them run around and make the most of their new surroundings. We only give them a small amount of space but they love it and run around in circles, sometimes sort of skipping as they go.

These calves will be allowed to stay outside all day as long as the weather isn't too bad, then we'll bring them inside again at night. It wont be for another month or two before we let them sleep outside too.

Although the calves love getting more space to run around in there is one thing they wont be so happy about - we've also switched the first batch onto once-a-day feeding so they'll probably feel a bit hungry as the day goes on. They have some grainy calf feed to chew on whenever they like though so I'm sure they'll learn pretty quickly to gobble that up when they haven't got a drink of fresh colostrum on hand.

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Comments

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Sarah said on 13-Dec-2009,
This is the cutest scene i've ever seen in my entire life!
A year on the farm said on 13-Dec-2009,
Thanks Sarah! The little calves are really cute, and really funny when they're allowed outside for the first time. They get so excited at their new-found freedom.
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