As you may have noticed on our adoption posts, the calves we are finding homes for, are all males. You may be wondering why this is. This blog will be discussing the reasons why we are so frequently collecting male calves.
The majority of the calves we are asked to collect come from dairy farms. In the dairy industry, the farmers are dependent on females to make a profit. As you may know, this involves continually having the female cow impregnated to keep up their milk supply. When the female cows give birth, if the calf is male, the males will be deemed waste products as they do not result in profit but instead generally a loss to an average dairy farmer following standard Australian practice. It costs farmers $3 per day to feed one calf. If the male calves will not eventually contribute to the farmer’s profits, then it is financially a “waste” for the farmer to continue spending money on the calf. This is the reality of this business. It is for these reasons that farmers insist we collect their calves so efficiently to keep costs low for them. Of all the farms we’ve ever rehomed for, one has kept the calves on the mothers for one feed a day until rehomed, some were up to 4 weeks old. The next best from there was 5 days. The rest have all been 1-3 days.
You may be thinking why farmers don’t just send the calves off to slaughter to save or make money. The reason farmers don’t do this is because the calves on farms are not all born on the same day. If they were, it would be convenient to fill a truck up and send them to a slaughterhouse to be made into veal. Instead, the calves are born throughout the year when impregnated ‘naturally’ or through a month or two period of the year if artificially inseminated by humans. Therefore, if farmers wanted to sell the calves for veal, they’d have to send them off one at a time to keep costs low. This would not be making them any significant extra profit for a lot of extra work. As discussed already, if a farmer wanted to wait for more calves to be born in order to take a truck full to sell, it would require the farmer to spend $3 a day to feed the calves already born. In the end, this would not be financially viable. Therefore, many dairy farmers contact us and ask us to collect the calves when each one is born. This works out perfectly for the farmer and gives the calf a chance at life. The farmer is not having to pay to feed the calf, and the calf gets a chance to find a furever home.
You may have noticed that a lot of the calves we collect are jersey calves. Jersey calves are the most common breed in the dairy industry in Australia. The jersey breed plays a part in why farmers do not sell them for veal and why people don’t eat the male calves born in this industry. The jersey calves do not have the muscle mass viable for farmers to raise and sell for meat, unlike other breeds. Therefore, jersey calves are the most common calves we collect and rehome because of this. However, this is great for anyone looking to adopt a calf into their loving family. Jersey calves make such great companion animals for life! “They are a smaller bovine breed, are more submissive than many other breeds, and are very friendly with people, making them a perfect addition to any home with the space and the heart to take them in.” Donna Wild, TTCCH Founder and CEO
What does all this information mean? We have many calves looking for their furever homes.
If you have been wanting to expand your family, then consider adopting one of the many beautiful and loving calves or any of the other farmed animals in our care. Make sure you check out our social media pages to see the latest calves, and other farmed animals, who are looking for their perfect adoption match.
By Luella Botteon