Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What happens to the Bull calves?

There's something so sweet about a newborn, wet wiggly and new to the world; I will never get tired of the babies on our farm!
Jellybelly greets her baby boy!
After the new bundle of joy has arrived, and everyone is doing well, we check the sex of the calf. I would have to check our numbers to give you an accurate percentage for our farm, but you have a 50/50 chance of getting a heifer or a bull. Of course we are hoping for heifers, because we raise them to in turn join our milking herd after they've had their own baby. 

So what happens to the "unwanted" bulls? They get the same loving care that our heifers calves get, until they go to a new home. We just don't have the room to raise all the bulls calves, and besides that would be silly for us business wise because bulls don't make milk. We do occasionally raise a couple of bull calves for ourselves for the higher purpose of feeding our family. But we obviously can't raise them all. Even though it seems the bulls tend to have the cutest markings and my husband is continually telling me I can't keep them! 

So we try to find local homes for them, I love knowing where my boys are going! A select elite top few are chosen for A.I. studs. But most of them end up going to the livestock auction and their final destination is unknown to us. We have no power over who they are purchased by or what they are eventually used for. But I feel good knowing that I sent a healthy baby to auction to better someone's situation in whatever way they see fit. 

Jellybelly's bull and a buddy loaded up to head to auction

I know there are horrid rumors, pictures and videos out there proclaiming that the big bad dairy man just leaves the bull calves to starve to death. I am guessing most of that footage was taken out of context, perhaps the calf was born dead, or got sick after being born. And just like in any business sometimes bad things happen, I am not denying that. But the care and attention that is given to bull calves on farms is just as genuine as that given to heifers!


  1. This is a great post - thanks for sharing. I find it silly that people would believe you just starve them. I mean, wouldn't it make more sense to raise them healthy and then sell them so you can make a profit instead of just letting them die? Some people...

    1. Exactly!! Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment!!