Mother cow encourages her newborn calf to take his first steps

Published June 21, 2021 6,728 Views $0.64 earned

Rumble / Heroic AnimalsAgnes is a wonderful cow who lives on a beautiful farm in Ontario, Canada. She has just given birth to her first calf only moments earlier and she has licked and cleaned him. This is important for bonding and for establishing the calf's understanding that he is safe and cared for in this strange and new world that he has just entered. He's had a very tiring experience and he rests for several minutes as he adjusts to breathing the air.

But the little fellow must get to his feet quickly. Although he is safe on this farm, there could be predators that will take advantage of a newborn who cannot follow the heard for protection. He must walk quickly and run soon after. He will need to get to his mom's udder soon too for that crucial first drink of milk that is loaded with colostrum. These are the antibodies that form his immune system and it is vital that he begins to develop immunity to infection right away. His mother is ready to feed him and the milk is actually dripping from her.

Agnes patiently waits and grazes while her baby adjusts. She moos gently and she licks and nudges him encouragingly. Flossey, a seasoned mother comes over to inspect the calf and offer congratulations. She sniffs at the baby and stands protectively as Agnes recovers from the effort of giving birth. Cows often form relationships and close bonds with other cows in the herd. Agnes may not let the other cows wander too close during these first moments, but she adores Flossey and she tolerates her getting very close to the newborn.

Farms like this one exist all over North AMerica, but they are far from ordinary. This is an ethical beef farm and the farmers here have a very different approach to producing our food. They have a genuine desire to take proper care of the animals. It's a small, family run farm where the animals get names and the farmers know their likes and dislikes. The cows respond to kindness and allow their keepers to handle them and even their babies. Herd health is far more important than profit and each animal receives proper veterinary care. The cows have vast expanses of meadow for roaming and grazing. A massive, but gentle bull named Gus watches over his ladies protectively and carries out his duties in a very natural way. The cows have ponds full of fresh water and forested area for shade. The cows can nap in the sunshine or seek shelter under the trees. It's life as close to what nature intended for these gentle beasts.

Factory run farms treat their animals much differently. They transport their cows great distances in confined spaces, and the meat is also transported across the country or around the world, driving up cost which inevitably means other corners must be cut to maintain profit. A competitive market means less care and more cruelty in the production of our food. Many people choose a vegan lifestyle and that is commendable. But for those who will continue to eat meat, sourcing a family farm that is local and natural means that the cost of raising the food has been spent on proper care. The meat is often healthier too and the impact on the environment is reduced when we shop locally.
There are many good reasons to support those farmers who care enough to do things right for their animals and for us.