Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery visitors and seventh generation dairy farmer, Denise Barstow enjoyed a great morning in the calf barn for the Dairy Month Lecture Series on Sunday, June 24 at Barstow’s Longview Farm.
In case you missed it, we have this short recap for you:
- The calves and young stock (also called replacement stock) do not start producing milk, or paying their own way, until they give birth to their own calves around the age of 2. However, their health and nutrition is still a priority to the farmer so that the next generation of dairy cows will be healthy and well equipped to produce wholesome, healthy milk.
- Calves at Barstow’s Longview Farm are separated when they are very little to minimize risk of spreading germs between calves. The older ones might also push the younger calves away from their dinner – so separation ensures better nutrition.
- That said, the Barstow’s hope to install an automated calf feeder which will allow the calves to mingle together.
- Calves receive a fortified warm milk replacer twice a day. We do not feed waste milk from our herd because we want our girls to eat a consistent meal.
- Calves spend some time with their mother, but then Mom goes to work (gets milked) and the calf is introduced to the calf barn so she can “imprint” on the farmer and on the other calves her age. A newborn calf will always receive colostrum from her mother or from a replacement if her mother is unable to provide enough.
- Just like the calves, the next generation of farmers must also be nurtured to create an interest in dairy farming.
- There is currently no money in dairying and we are seeing many dairies in New England and New York close their doors in response to low milk prices, high grain bills, and the disinterest of the next generation.
- Frequent communication and playing to the strengths of the next generation create a sustainable business.
Questions? Barstow’s is honored to be an educational resource for our community. Always feel free to reach out with your dairy and agriculture questions on our Contact Page.