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Circle of Life, Calf to Cow - dairy farming with Jet and Emma
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Circle of Life, Calf to Cow - dairy farming with Jet and Emma


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  • 1. Getting Down and Dirty on the dairy farm with Emma & Jet
  • 2. Emma and Jet • My name is Emma I am 16. As part of my HSC I am doing a dairy traineeship at Clover Hill Dairies • My name is Jet. I am also doing a dairy traineeship with Alan and Leesa Swan at Hillview Dairy
  • 3. Hi I‟m Jet Hi I‟m Emma
  • 4. Update on farm yard happenings Things have been pretty exciting over the last 2 months. We have visitors from Quebec. Hi I‟m Jenny Hi I‟m Marie - Pier
  • 5. Marie-Pier and Jenny live on dairy farms in Quebec and exhibit their cows @ shows in Canada
  • 6. So what did Marie-Pier and Jenny get up to
  • 7. Well there was plenty to do
  • 8. We did enjoy the great Ozzie vino and tucker
  • 9. And sat on a little one We climbed the big bridge
  • 10. We trained for the cricket team and And ate crumpets – took part in the All They taste fantastic Bran Challenge. with maple syrup. I must see if I can sneak some of these home in my suitcase.
  • 11. We walked to the edge and climbed to the top
  • 12. We learnt the difference between league and rugby we think !!! Perhaps we need to see a few more games.
  • 13. Met a few of the locals
  • 14. We went Go cart racing
  • 15. Helped GREEN Australia
  • 16. Saw the sights
  • 17. Who said dairying was all work and no play???
  • 18. Now back to work !! So tell us what is Emma and Jet Jet and Emma going to talk are going to tell about today? us the circle of life story from Calf to Cow
  • 19. Circle of Life • Cows like all living things must have a program to make copies of themselves from generation to generation
  • 20. Cow Heifer Calf Yearling
  • 21. Starting at the beginning • The cow is mated to a bull either naturally or by Artificial Insemination (AI) • At Clover Hill Dairies we try to AI all of our cows – we will explore AI in more detail in our “Day in the Life of a Vet” presentation coming soon • The gestation period for a cow is the same as humans – 9 months
  • 22. Birthing Process Calves are usually born front feet first with the head between the front legs. If there is only one leg and the head, or just the head showing, then we will assist them. You can watch a calf birth here
  • 23. Step 1 source : A Veterinary Book for Dairy Farmers Third Edition R. W. BLOWEY Farming Press
  • 24. Step 2 source : A Veterinary Book for Dairy Farmers Third Edition R. W. BLOWEY Farming Press
  • 25. Step 3 source : A Veterinary Book for Dairy Farmers Third Edition R. W. BLOWEY Farming Press
  • 26. How long does it take? • A mature cow usually takes 1–2 hours for the full birth process from when the „waters‟ initially break. • Cows calving for the first time (heifers) can take up to 4 hours. Just like people first timers take a little longer.
  • 27. Newborn Calves A Holstein calf weighs anywhere from 35 to 50kgs at birth.
  • 28. Up and about in no time First Steps….. Unlike human babies, calves are generally able to walk within a few hours of birth and are able to run within a day or two.
  • 29. Getting off to the right start •Like human babies, calves face big changes when they come into the world. They have to be able to survive in all weathers. •They have to be able to deal with predators from an early age. •Cows often eat their afterbirth to discourage predators like foxes You can watch it here
  • 30. Oh my goodness its time to get back in the chook house
  • 31. Colostrum, the fuel for life Calves are born with very little protection against the bacteria and viruses. To help give them immunity, their first milk drink (Colostrum) is packed with antibodies as well as extra energy, protein, vitamins and minerals - to give protection against disease. Calves born to milking cows are often fed supplementary Colostrum.
  • 32. The newborn calf is soon wriggling her tail and nuzzling the udder, the busy lips frothing with milk rich colostrum
  • 33. Yes we are very cute aren't we??
  • 34. What happens next? • Dairy calves on most farms are reared by hand. • They are generally fed milk twice a day, drinking between 4 and 8 litres daily. • They are fed either surplus milk from the dairy (some cows produce more than 60 cartons of milk per day!) or from high-quality powdered milk replacer. • Computer technology and Robotic calf feeders can prepare the milk and feed it to many calves.
  • 35. Sometimes Jersey calves are slow drinkers to start but when they get going WOW are they a handful.
  • 36. And when the calves get to be about three months old its good Housing to have two pairs of hands.
  • 37. Picture courtesy Dairy Australia These are baby pure bred Jersey calves being fed with a teat bottle. Aren't they adorable?
  • 38. This is a robotic calf feeder
  • 39. How do Robotic Calf feeders work • The Robotic calf feeder mimics mother nature. • A microchip in the ear of the calf lets the CPU know when and if the calf is due for a feed. • The calf is weighed daily and computer printout informs the operator of the calf's daily progress.
  • 40. How does the computer know how much milk I have drunk today ? • Calves have special electronic ID ear tags which the computer reads before it drinks. • Any calf that is not drinking well will be identified and treated if necessary.
  • 41. Watch calves getting fed • • • So many options !!!
  • 42. Calf Crèche • Just like most mothers, dairy cows go back to work. • Farmers house their calves in a safe environment like a kindergarten. • Calves are often weaned off milk at 6-12 weeks of age. • To help their digestion make the switch to pasture, the calves are fed calf pellets, grain and good-quality hay ...
  • 43. On our farm we are put in individual pens for 6 wks so Emma can keep a close eye on us. Then we move into a big pen with a group of our friends
  • 44. This keeps us sheltered and well fed until we go out in the paddock onto pasture at about 12 weeks
  • 45. We all love Emma and she loves us
  • 46. Lets talk about the stomach of a calf. A calf is born with four stomachs like its mum but only one stomach works. Just like human babies. Let me tell you all about it and show some pictures of the changes over time . There is lots of interesting info at this website.
  • 47. At birth, the calf‟s stomach contains the same four compartments found in adult ruminants. However, the calf‟s reticulum, rumen, and omasum are inactive and undeveloped. The newborn‟s functional stomach, the abomasum, is similar to a human‟s stomach. As the calf grows and begins to consume a variety of feeds, its stomach compartments grow and change accordingly .
  • 48. Calf health – what you should know • Farmers like mothers know when their calves are healthy and when they need extra attention
  • 49. Healthy calves What to look for – bright and alert eyes – Perky ears – Warm and wet nose – Rhythmic breathing – Clean and shiny coat – Active and run around the pen – Drink enthusiastically – Rest in a curled position with feet tucked under them
  • 50. • Our six month old heifers are fed on pasture with extra hay and pellets • Holstein heifers weigh about 200kgs at this age. Dairy farmers want their Ooh they get very Holstein heifers to big don‟t they. I don‟t feel so gain 0.8kg to 1kg brave anymore each day.
  • 51. • Calves enjoy each other‟s company. • They like to mingle with calves of the same age. • They are very inquisitive • They need clean, dry housing and protection from heat and cold ... just like us! I want out of here Help !!!!!!!
  • 52. You‟re a scaredy cat Bella. Just look at us – the cows don‟t bother us
  • 53. This is Lauren who is from Cambridge University in the UK and is training to be a vet. She stayed with us for work experience in July 2008 . Lauren‟s favourite job was looking after the calves. Lauren knows all about Rugby she plays for Cambridge
  • 54. • This heifer is called a yearling because she is over one year old just like Madison. She weighs between 300 and 400kgs and still has quite a bit of growing to do before she enters the milking herd in another year.
  • 55. • Dairy farmers refer to animals like this one as a "first-calf heifer." This cow is two years old and recently had a calf for the first time. She is now producing milk and will keep on growing for the next few years before she is fully mature. She weighs about 600 to 650kgs.
  • 56. This cow has had 4 calves and produces over 20,000 litres of milk per year This cow is a “1st Calf” heifer and produces over 14,000litres of milk per year
  • 57. Adult cow • The adult dairy cow weighs between 500 and 750kgs. • She can eat over 26kg DM (dry matter = feed with water content removed) • She can produce anywhere between 15 and 100 litres of milk a day during the early part of her lactation. • A mature cow produces about 25 percent more milk than a first calf heifer.
  • 58. And I can drink over 100 litres of water per day.
  • 59. Some fast facts • Cows usually give birth lying on their side with legs outstretched. Sometimes they may appear to be dead when they are really just relaxing between contractions. • A cow has to pump 400 litres of blood through her heart to produce 1 litre of milk • A lactating cow drinks >100 litres of water a day • When the milk leaves the cow it is at blood temperature (38˚C) and is cooled to 4˚C within 1 hour
  • 60. More fast facts.. • A cow has 4 stomachs (ruminant) consisting reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum. Feed is consumed quickly, and then regurgitated from the rumen for further chewing (cudding) whilst the cow rests. It then passes further along the digestive system. • There are 1.8 million dairy cows in Australia producing ~9.2 billion litres of milk every year.
  • 61. We all have favourites and these two are mine. This is Terrason Magpie and her daughter Dundee Magpie.
  • 62. Cream of the Crop see the 2009 Cream of the Crop finalists and learn more about farming at .
  • 63. Visit our Website and Watch our videos
  • 64. Jet and Emma Farm Management Education Series K to 12 Links Milk It Farm to Factory Grow Grass Grow Seeding Time How it all began – a Taste for Dairy Sustainable Dairying Circle of Life – Calf to Cow Vetting Around Australia – by Guest presenter Jacinta Kelly
  • 65. Acknowledgements Farm yard animal graphics have been created for the “Jet and Emma Get Down and Dirty on the Farm” series by students from Mt Terry Public School
  • 66. The Jet and Emma Series is a Dairy Youth Australia inc initiative assisted by Kiama Municipal Council through its Sustainable Living Grants Program.
  • 67. Watch this space we will be back soon