As you may recall, last summer I milked a cow for the first time. This summer, I figured it was time to bottle-feed a bunch of calves.
At the beginning of July, Melissa and I spent an afternoon at Meadowood Farms in Lodi, Wisconsin, where Melissa conducted her Master's research in finding the best nutrition plan for calves using a robot feeder (more on that later). The family-owned farm belongs to Sandy, Tim, and Greg Enge. The farm is home to 450 cows, which is considered a medium-sized dairy.
First of all, the view was great:
|Olive says hello.|
|Left to right: Holstein, Brown Swiss, and Jersey show cows.|
|Olive is a friendly gal.|
|Taking a selfie with a cow is challenging.|
After hanging out with the show cows, I was pretty excited to meet some barn cats:
|Mama was a leg climber.|
|And her baby was a snuggler.|
Then, it was time to head to the calf barn. Calves ages 1-66 days old live in this barn. Calves under a day old have their own area where they get bottle-fed. Prepare for cuteness.
|Up close and personal. This baby was excited to be fed.|
Then, it was time to bottle feed the 4 calves who were less than 1 day old.
|Melissa (wearing her "Moo Expert" shirt) was very excited to mix up the formula.|
We fed the babies! It's much harder than it looks. They were young, wild, and hungry, but didn't know much about using a bottle.
|I did alright for a rookie, but I ended up seeking help from the expert.|
Then, it was time to head out, but not before I got a quick video of feeding time. The Meadowood cows live in "free stalls," so they can go wherever they want, whenever they want. They're living the good life.
It was a great, moo-worthy day with the cows!