Last May we welcomed two beautiful calves, Patch and Rosie. Straightway they won our hearts. Now, three months later, they are even more precious to us.
Feeding them daily until they were weaned was a great experience which allowed us to build a caring relationship with them.
They say “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, that goes for animals too. We weaned Rosie and Patch three weeks ago, and still, at the sight of a bucket they will come running to us. While they enjoy their feed, we get to handle them. At first, we could only touch them while they were eating, however, with time they are desiring more contact. The other day, Patch decided to lay down at my side, allowing me to continue rubbing her long after she finished her treat.
Our desire is to enjoy our animals, to treat them with respect and as organically as possible, just as they deserve. The first step we took towards that goal was adding kefir to their daily feed. Kefir is something that we have added to our diet about 7 years ago. Kefir grains look similar to miniature cauliflower head, they are a bacterial fermentation starter, producing probiotics in the milk and making it more digestible. Kefired milk looks similar to a yogurt and has healthy benefits for us. We researched to see if it would be a good idea to feed some to our calves, liking the information we found, we fed some to our calves. We were ready to stop if we didn’t like the results. However, as we suspected, both Patch and Rosie thrived, they had no scouring and looked healthy. Our neighbour commented on how good they looked. We supplemented them with kefir up to the time they were weaned.
This week we have added a mineral lick supplement. We are also looking at ways to improve organically our pastures.
Patch and Rosie are our first calves. God willing we should shortly buy another two. This time we are looking to get steers. Any information we can receive from our readers to help us in this endeavour to rear them up organically will be greatly appreciated. We have a lot to learn, and are willing to receive any information that will help us maintain a healthy herd.