10 Steps for Calf Care on a Small-Herd Micro Dairy

| 9/16/2015 11:40:00 AM

Tags: home dairying, dairy cows, raising livestock, Steve Judge, Vermont,


The number one rule at the Bob-White Systems Micro Dairy Farm is that our cows must be easy and safe to handle. I don't want to have to catch or chase after our cows when they are out on pasture. I want them to come to me when they see me.  Usually they will just follow me to wherever I want them to go or I can also lead them by their collars.  Sometimes, if they are feeling rambunctious, we may have to put a halter on them but that is rare.

Our Micro Dairy is a dairy farm, not a wildlife refuge. I don't have the time or desire to chase cows across the countryside if I need to get them into the barnyard or barn.  And I don't need cows that are difficult to milk. As a result I raise my calves so they will grow to become tame, calm and well-mannered cows. Here is how I do it:

1. I try to have my cows calve on pasture (during the warmer season here in Vermont) or in my calving pen if it is cold or wet outside.

2. Generally, I will separate the cow and the calf once the calf has been cleaned by its mom and is dry.  


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