This spring we ended up with 2 orphan calves. I was bottle feeding them twice a day something I don’t mind doing during calving season when thats our focus, but it is not something we have time to do all summer when we get busy with haying and moving cows on the range. In previous years we have given these orphan calves to neighbours who may need a calf, however this year we decided to do something different. Our neighbours’ family owns a dairy in Abbotsford, so we bought a milk cow from them who does not produce enough milk for their dairy. We named her Annabelle. We were a bit worried at first that she wouldn’t take her fuzzy beef calves, but after a few weeks she was in love with her two calves. We started by putting her in the shoot and feeding her grain and letting the calves suck that way. Then we progressed to putting a halter on her and holding onto the lead shank while she ate her grain out of the bucket and let the calves suck that way. Soon she got to the point where she loves her calves and will let them suck whenever they want just as if they were her own calves! These two poor little orphans have went from the scrubbiest looking beasts to really nice calves because Annabelle is a Holestein (the black and white dairy cows that are the most common in Canada), they are able to produce more milk and a better quality milk (higher percentage of butterfat) therefore, she is able to raise to calves unlike beef cows. Annabelle and her two calves will stay at home for the summer, they will not get turned out on the range, so we get to watch them grow all summer long!  ~Erika Strande~



One thought on “Annabelle

  1. Lavinia Ross says:

    Sometimes things just work out all around. Good to hear she took to the calves!

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