Better than a Field Trip

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,825
Location
Idaho
My son-in-law grew up on a dairy farm. He opted for a career other than the family farm, but his two brothers have stayed on the farm. Our family got together for Greg's retirement this weekend and several of us took the kids to visit the farm. We visited at calf feeding time. The kids loved that. Then we looked at the pregnant cows and saw one that was in labor. We then visited the milking barn. After that we went to check back on the cow in labor. Birthing is a common occurrence on the farm. They get about 2 or 3 new calves every day, all year.

Beau's brother told us that about 10-20 percent of the cows giving birth need some help. This cow was one of them, so we had the experience of watching the guys use the calf puller. Even though Beau hasn't worked on the farm for years, he was right at home running the puller. It was a great experience for all of us. The smallest kids didn't watch, but all the older ones thought that it was pretty neat. There is a link to a video of the birth at the end of the photos. The Z50 and kit lenses were so much fun to take on this little outing.

#1 Rylee feeding a calf
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#2 Beau helping a newborn with its first feeding.
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#3 Lots of calves to feed twice a day.
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#4 Loving the experience
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#5 Pretending to drive a small tractor.
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#6 They had several row of calves like this one.
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#7 Lots of noisy sucking going on.
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#8 Brody, loving the experience.
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#9 Checking out the cows that are getting close to delivering calves.
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#10 Bridger loves to pose for photos.
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#11 The milking barn
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#12 The birthing shed. The cow in labor was brought in here to have help with her delivery.
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#13 Beau's brother getting things ready.
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#14 The Newborn. Below is a link to a video I took with my Z50 in the dark shed of the birth.
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The birth of the calf using a Calf Puller.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
24,528
Location
SW Virginia
That looks like a big operation. Great job on the photos and especially the video. Did you handhold the camera for the entire video? If so, I'm impressed with your steady hands.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,825
Location
Idaho
That looks like a big operation. Great job on the photos and especially the video. Did you handhold the camera for the entire video? If so, I'm impressed with your steady hands.
It was handheld. The stabilization worked well. Their farm is a big operation. It keeps the family members super busy. They also have a few employees. They grow most of their feed as well.
 
Fascinating series of images -- something we "city folks" don't see very often, if at all. Large dairy farms are becoming more extinct in some areas of the country as taxes increase and everything becomes more automated so that there is not the need to hire a lot of employees, and yet the demanding work needs to be done on a daily basis.

I haven't watched the video yet but will, as I'm always fascinated by the whole birth process and although I've heard of a calf puller I haven't actually seen one.

Thanks for sharing these images!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,825
Location
Idaho
Fascinating series of images -- something we "city folks" don't see very often, if at all. Large dairy farms are becoming more extinct in some areas of the country as taxes increase and everything becomes more automated so that there is not the need to hire a lot of employees, and yet the demanding work needs to be done on a daily basis.

I haven't watched the video yet but will, as I'm always fascinated by the whole birth process and although I've heard of a calf puller I haven't actually seen one.

Thanks for sharing these images!
Thank you!! Glad you enjoyed it, Connie!!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,825
Location
Idaho
Terri, thanks for sharing. I love the portrait of Bridger.

Those animals look well cared for. Any idea what happens to the unlucky male dairy cows that are born on that farm?
Thank you, Mitch. We asked about the male cows. They told us that they can always sell them to someone. There is a market for them.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Messages
4,812
Location
USA-Today
as the saying goes and is so true.. Without Farmers, no one eats.
I think people in general, forget that and never think about what goes on to get things to the stores.
plus the expense of all that equipment and maint. of such.
I am told its getting harder and harder to find hands to help out on farms like this.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,825
Location
Idaho
as the saying goes and is so true.. Without Farmers, no one eats.
I think people in general, forget that and never think about what goes on to get things to the stores.
plus the expense of all that equipment and maint. of such.
I am told its getting harder and harder to find hands to help out on farms like this.
This farm has had the same people working for them for a long time, so I guess they must be treating them well. I think it is hard for most businesses to find employees right now.
 
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