Okay, I’m going to be honest here. I have never raised calves in my life.
Yes, I know that’s a crazy notion for some, but it’s the truth. Never, ever. All our calves have gone to a calf ranch to be raised since I was little, so I never had the opportunity. However, times have changed.
The headline in my story right now is “Tyler starts raising calves and is scared to freaking death.” I have some great people around me, helping with their great wisdom, yet I am still incredibly nervous moving forward.
You see, I love these little boogers, and I’d hate to lose a single one to a stupid, avoidable mistake. With that being said, my attention to detail has been taken to the next level!
We have always had a clean dairy facility, but calves are a whole new thing for me. Yes, I understand everything has to be clean, but why in the why do they have to poop in the buckets? I mean, seriously!? I have given you the biggest hutch available with tons of room to play and run, and you decide to fill a grain and water bucket with your nasties!
These little calves are absolutely adorable, and I love them. However, they are not smart. I find myself saying, “I want to feed you, yes I do, so please stop biting me and aim for the giant red nipple!” and “It works better when your tongue is in your mouth!” They are lucky they are so cute!
I have a lot to learn yet, but what I have found is patience is a must. They are so young, learning things for the first time. They need guidance, yet at nearly 30 years old, I have found myself needing some guidance and patience as well.
I am far from a professional and would never claim to know everything about raising calves; however, watching them run and jump in their pens is my new favorite activity!
This Thanksgiving be thankful for the things that make you smile! There is humor in some of the little moments that happen all around us. In the comments, post one thing that you are thankful for. I’d love to hear it!
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.