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As much as farmers may “love their animals”, if these animals are not profitable then the farmers can’t afford to raise calves if they won’t ever be viable to their business. In the beef and dairy industries the cows and calves generally only live as long as they are making farmers a profit. This is the reason why we at ‘Til The Cows Come Home have been seeing increasing numbers of calves being surrendered to us, most of which are only 3 days old. We are so grateful that farmers are choosing to surrender calves that are not making them a profit and still choose to allow these animals to live a forever happy life with adoptive families through us. This blog will explore the reason why we have so many young calves available for adoption.  

As we all know cows in the dairy or beef industry are there to make farmers a profit. It is widely known that calves such as bobby calves are not viable in the dairy industry and as such farmers make the business decision to sell calves for meat or pet food. Most of the calves are only a few days old at this time. In the economic climate we face in Australia currently these calves will be sold for approximately $50 per calf. Due to this low price, an increasing trend has been found, in which farmers are opting to kill the calves with a hammer to the head, rather than paying for them to be slaughtered in an abattoir, saving on the expense of transport and feed while waiting for transport. This is a business decision many farmers dread but is a reality of the times. We have been in contact with farmers recently who do not want to hit these babies on the heads just because they are not viable in their business, these farmers are instead opting to surrender these cows and calves to us to be adopted instead of killed and sold for consumption. This is one of the main reasons we at Til The Cows Come Home have seen a significant surge of 3-day old calves being surrendered to us and who are available for adoption.

Are you wondering why it is not viable for farmers to raise calves in the dairy industry? Well, firstly calves need milk while they are young. If farmers allowed the calves to drink from their mothers this will result in the farmers losing a profit, as the milk given to the babies is what the farmers need to sell and make their money. Alternatively, the calves could be given formula, however, this would mean that farmers would need to outlay extra money specifically to supplementing milk on calves that would not earn them money in the future. Once older the problem continues as the farmers would need to start supplementing grass feed for the cows. Therefore, as horrible as it is farmers cannot afford to raise cows and outlay money in them if the animals won’t help them turn a profit. 
The increasing number of calf surrenders just shows us how compassion can outweigh money! If you are interested in adopting a farmed animal to welcome into your home as a pet and loving family member then visit this link to see what animals are available to be adopted: https://www.facebook.com/tilthecowscomehomeau/photos/a.342543169601685/716313462224652/?type=3&theater.  If you can’t adopt but still want to help, we appreciate any donation you can give us to help us in our goal of rescuing and rehoming as many animals as we can: https://tilthecowscomehome.org/donation/.

By Luella Botteon