A New Home for the Calves
Christmas has come early for our baby calves. For awhile now, our family has been working on building some new structures on our new ranch to raise the baby calves more comfortably. We had grown out of our old facilities and needed a new place to raise the baby calves. We finally finished building the new facilities so we spent all last week moving heifers to the new ranch. It’s been pretty exciting!
**The Unloading Chute, the calves walk down the chute from the Trailer to their New Home**
The new barns are state of the art, and I think the heifers will be quite comfortable in their new home. Depending on the weather conditions, the sides of the barns can roll up and down. In the summer the sides will be raised up to promote airflow through the barn, while in much of the winter the sides will be lowered down to protect against wind and rain. In Northern California where the ranch is located, the wind can blow very hard, so the rolling sides will definitely protect the young cows against the hash elements of winter.
Inside the barns, the calves have a large area to run and play in. I’ll admit its pretty fun watching the heifers run to and fro inside the barns.
**My sister Watching the Calves Play**
In the barns, the heifers have free access to food and water. Water is freely available in the many water troughs that are located throughout the barn. When they drink out of the troughs, the water valve opens according to the water level in order to re-fill the trough. These water troughs are cleaned periodically to ensure a clean water supply for the calves. Food is also freely available. The heifers are fed corn silage along with a blend of other food stuffs. Corn silage is corn (the entire corn stalks) that have been chopped into fine pieces and fermented. Fermenting the corn silage is basically food preservation, and allows us to have feed available for the heifers year-round. The heifers really love eating the corn silage, and it’s always surprising to see how efficient they are at sorting their food to find the corn kernels.
**The Calves Eating in their new Home**
Northern California is a very scenic area in California, especially in the winter with the dark stormy skies and puffy clouds. On our drive through NorCal, we took some pretty cool pictures, enjoy.
** Farmland and Power Lines**
**The Coastal Mountain Range and Stormy Skies**
**Rice Fields in Northern California**