Daryl & Oscar


The lost calf and his best friend.

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As a boy in the dairy industry, not producing milk diminishes the value of his life. He is considered a “surplus” or “waste” product. 

His mother, like most female cows on dairy farms, is kept in a constant cycle – artificial impregnation, birthing, milk production, repeat. He may have not been the first calf she had carried and birthed, to be taken from her. Heartbreakingly, nor would he be the last.

So traumatised by the loss of their babies, mothers have broken down fences, cried for days in anguish and even hidden their calves from farmers.

What happens to these poor babies after they are ripped from their mothers? They’re usually split into two groups, some to be reared for human consumption, often kept chained up in tiny cages. The rest are to be “disposed of”. Oscar was destined for the latter.

This is when Sari and Oscar’s paths crossed.

Sari is one of our devoted Foster Carers and our dedicated Foster Care Coordinator, she homes unwanted calves – giving them the medical treatment they require, and the love they deserve. She has spent years developing relationships with local dairy farms in an effort to rescue as many calves as possible.

Oscar was one of those lucky calves.

When picking him up, Sari witnessed first-hand him being snatched from his mother, his mother following in panic.

“I was a bit shocked that he had been left on mum for 3 days as they are normally removed within 12 to 24 hours so the cow can get back in the milking shed.”

Initially, he struggled a little to settle into his newfound freedom. Sadly, this is no surprise after the trauma he had endured. 

“Oscar was wild with not having any human contact for 3 days. Just enjoying the love and care of his mum. He had so much fear in his eyes. When I put him in a lovely warm straw-filled calf shed, he started crashing into the walls and gates – trying to escape.

He wouldn’t even glance at me. I think if he had got loose he would have ran and ran until he fell exhausted.

I just sat down in the corner and talked and talked about anything and everything so he could get used to my voice. He just stood wide-eyed staring out the gate.”

It’s no doubt he missed his mother, the first days were difficult for Oscar and Sari.

“Night time milk feed was the same, more banging and crashing into everything. I had to corner him and hold him tight to get him to drink, he kicked out backwards and made a nice mess of my legs. But I was just so relieved he drank.

Over the next 24 hours, I spent so much time sitting and talking slowly getting closer and closer. I even managed a little chin tickle. I was elated!”

After a few days of unwavering love, consistent care and bucketloads of patience he finally settled into his foster home with Sari. It is truly incredible to see the change love can create. 

Cows, much like humans, are sociable animals. They bond with their friends and like any of us in the most stressful of times we need our companions. Oscar was now safe, but lonely. 

Until he met Daryl.

Daryl was set to face the same fate as Oscar, on the same farm. With the support of our generous donors, we could stop that from happening.

Thus begins the bromance of this pair. Sharing this difficult journey bonded them into the inseparable duo they are today. They have relied on one another and now never leave each other’s side.

As the best of friends, they have morphed into one. A pair of ‘firecrackers’, excited for life and full of beans. Don’t let this fool you though, they are softies at heart. Always on the hunt for cuddles. Sari’s love truly opened them up from scared little calves to the brave boys they are today.

Their story does not end here, however. At ‘Til The Cows Come Home we endeavour to never split a special bond like this one, so we set on the mission to find them the perfect home – together. One where they can live as companions, not commodities.

Then that day finally came. Of course, Sari was sad to see this special pair go. However, she is steadfast in our mission – knowing they are safe in the best possible forever home – opens up space in her home for more calves in need.

Oscar may have been a lost and wild calf when he entered our care, but he left shoulder to shoulder with his best friend and full of love.


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