FACTS ABOUT CALVES
- Fairvue Farms dairy cows are all Holsteins.
- A cow gives birth to her first calf at 2 years.
- The cow is pregnant for 9 months (average = 283 days, ranging from 273-291 days).
- To calculate when a cow will give birth, add 7 days and subtract 3 months from her most recent mating date.
- The cow weighs around 1,200 pounds.
- The calf weighs about 90 pounds.
- Fairvue Farm's cows are all bred by artificial insemination.
- The newborn calf is fed 4 quarts of colostrum, which is the first milk from a cow. It must receive colostrum within hours of birth while it can still absorb the antibodies from its gut into its bloodstream.
- The cow normally has 1 calf.
- Twins occur about 10% of the time. Calving difficulties are more frequent with twins, and the calves are often weak at birth. When one twin is a heifer, and one is a bull calf, the heifer (known as a freemartin) is sterile more than 90% of the time.
- A cow must give birth to produce milk.
- Cows usually have 1 calf per year.
- Cows make more milk than her calf will need. Average cows produce between 5 and 12 gallons of milk a day.
- Female calves are called heifers. Male calves are called bull calves when they are born.
- A newborn calf can see, stand and walk.
- To ensure that the newborn calves receive the most nutritious feeding, they are fed immediately by bottle, and then they are placed in a well-bedded hutch after the calves are cleaned and dried. After this, they are fed two times a day for seven days on the bottle ,and then they are trained to drink from a pail until they are weaned at the age of seven weeks.
Also see Facts About Dairy Cows