Newborn calf takes first steps on adorably wobbly legs
This is Boots, a newborn calf who has just come into the world. He lives on a beautiful farm in Millbrook, Ontario. Named for the white markings that make his feet appear to be a pair of boots, he is a beautiful little calf. His mother has given birth for her first time and she has taken a minute to wander over to the pond for a well deserved drink after all her effort. Boots has been checked and given an ear tag. In the early moments, farmers treat the umbilical cord with iodine to prevent infection. They check for medical issues, deformities, and injuries that can occur during birth. Boots is fine and won't need any medical help. He's given a tag so that his health and medications that he might need in the future can be carefully tracked. This is an important part of herd health and making sure that each calf is properly cared for as it grows.
Boots is just getting used to his legs and he is trying to stand up. His mother has licked him clean and he has dried in the warm sunshine, but he will need to get his muscles ready for walking and running, even in the first few hours of life. Nature requires that these young calves keep up with the herd right away to protect them from predators. He also needs to stand to be able to nurse and get milk, as well as colostrum, the antibodies in the first milk from mom. His legs are wobbly and his balance is poor at this stage, but he improves by the minute. By the end of the day, he will be walking steadily, or even trying to run. Few things are as cute as a newborn calf trying to get his legs under him.
Boots' home is an ethical farm where the farmers refuse to raise veal, a controversial farming method where calves are isolated and kept from exercising, in order to make the meat more tender. These farmers keep their animals in a lush pasture so that they have lots of room to graze and wander freely. They are only indoors when the weather gets bad. The animals are well loved and well protected as they live a life that is as close to what nature intended as possible.
Boots will romp and play with the other calves in these meadows, staying at his mother's side until he is full grown. Caramel will live a long and happy life in a little corner of paradise.
Ethical farming requires more effort and it makes our food more expensive. For those who want to see less cruelty in food production, paying this extra is a great option. Doing so will support the farmers who are doing everything right.