Saturday, May 19, 2012

Calf Action

Douglas and Linus finally met the big cows. They have been kept separate because there are mountain lions and the little dudes were still too small to be out at night. Both are the unwanted discards of the dairy industry - male calves. Mama cows are repeatedly artificially inseminated so they give birth and produce milk. Their babies are taken from them so their milk - meant for a calf - can be sold to people. Female calves replace their mothers, while male calves have no value. They are sold at auction for <$20 or sold to be slaughtered for veal. So it is always wonderful to be able to rescue them and give them the long life they deserve.
Murphy supervises Douglas and Linus

Murphy is another unwanted male from the dairy industry. He is on the left with the big horns. He's obviously older and larger than Douglas (middle) and Linus (right). Linus thought he could kick Murphy's ass. He could not.

Murphy and Linus
Douglas and Summer, another dairy discard. Douglas and Summer

And sweet Maddie, the only female in this herd, comforts Douglas as he takes a break from the shoving matches. Maddie was born a twin to a male calf. In cows, with twins, the female is always sterile. She is flooded with too much testosterone in the womb b/c of her brother. They are often slaughtered, but because she was born on a university-run dairy farm, she was sent to the university vet hospital and used as a blood donor. For seven years. Blood donor cows are sent to slaughter after their service - great way to say thanks, right? A veterinarian saved her life. She came to us at age 7 and is 9 now. Douglas gets love from Maddie

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