When calves are born, they start a cycle. All the male calves born at Caldermeade Farm and Café are sold and all the female calves are reared to become milking cows.
Calves are usually born front feet first with the head between the front legs. If there is only one leg and the head, or just the head showing, then we will assist them. A mature cow usually takes 1–2 hours to give birth from when the ‘waters’ initially break. Maiden heifers can take up to 4 hours.
Cows usually give birth lying on their side with their legs outstretched. Sometimes they may appear motionless, but they are just relaxing between contractions.
Calves are fed 4 litres of milk twice a day, as well as small amounts of grain, grass and hay until they are weaned at 10 weeks of age. They are then fed grain, grass and hay for a further 2-6 months until fully adapted to pasture. Weaned heifers (young cows up to 2 years old) are run on a nearby farm.