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Congratulations on adopting a gorgeous calf into your loving family, we so appreciate that you chose to adopt from ‘Til The Cows Come Home and not shop. You are helping our vision come alive by allowing us to make your everyday home a furever sanctuary for your new calf. 

This blog will educate all our new adoptees on what to expect when you collect your new furever calf from one of our holding stations and let you know the essential items to purchase before taking your calf home. 

We are happy to inform you that before you receive your new family member our amazing team will have ensured that your calf is in great health and ready to start their new chapter in your loving home. All calves upon arriving into our holding stations receive all the vet care each calf requires for a healthy start to life, as well as being desexed. 

We know that training your calf to bottle feed and being comfortable on a halter may be daunting for first-time calf owners. To ease the transition with your new calf, our foster carers train all the calves that come into their holding stations to bottle feed, as well as train them to be comfortable wearing a halter. We believe that the best method to ensure the calves love their halter before they get adopted is to use positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the ideal tactic with any training of animals! We believe that by training all the calves to be comfortable with a halter and being able to bottle feed before you arrive adds more value to you and the calf’s lives, making your life easier for you and your new furry friend to begin your journey together. 

When you pick your calf up our friendly foster carers offer a halter lesson and bottle-feeding lesson for you while you are at our TTCCH holding station. These lessons will be invaluable for you in assuring you are comfortable and confident in feeding your calf and are able to continue using a halter for your calf when needed.  To complete the bottle-feeding lesson, be sure to arrange the pick-up of your calf at his feeding time, as calves require strict feeding times to avoid the fatal illness of bloat. Being able to bottle feed your new calf will be a wonderful experience that will stay with you and your calf forever and is a great way to begin your beautiful bond. 

By the time your calf is home with you, we guarantee your calf will be eager for his first feed and will run to you for his bottle. After completing the bottle-feeding lesson, you will be a natural and excited for the twice daily ritual. 

Next, we want to talk to you about the essential items to purchase for your calf before picking him up. 

The first item you will need is transport. We recommend a box trailer with a cage or a horse float. If you use a normal trailer, you will need to obtain a trailer net to assure your calf doesn’t attempt to go out the top. Inside the trailer, you will need one bail of straw as bedding for your calf to lay in the trailer. The straw will also stop your calf from sliding around everywhere as you drive! 

The essential items you will need at your home is firstly one bail of straw for your calves fresh bedding. Straw for your calves bedding will need to be replaced regularly, to keep his bedding fresh and clean. For feeding, you will need to obtain formula. We recommend Regular Palastart formula as we believe it to be the best formula on the market in Australia right now.  Palastart is the formula all our holding stations use, and please be aware that changing formulas can be risky to calf health, therefore, we recommend you continue with this formula.  

If you would like us to arrange for these essential items for you and your calf, please ask your adoption consultant to provide the items for you in advance. We will require your payment information and we can then provide these products for you upon calf collection. 

It is vital that you don’t attempt to buy these items at the last minute. Some rural supplies can take weeks to get you what you need. And during drought, fires, floods or pandemics (remember 2020?) these supplies can be completely unobtainable, so stay on top of it.

If you have any questions about caring for your new calf we recommend reading our Calf Care Guide. That guide takes you through calf general care; feeding; ideal shelter and fencing; and the symptoms of illness to watch out for in your calf. This blog and that guide should be able to answer all your burning questions, however, if you have any additional questions do not hesitate to contact us via Facebook Messenger. We can’t wait to hear an update on the progress of how you and your new calf!

Written by Donna Wild
Edit by Luella Botteon