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Dairy Stories

Short Stories about life with cows

My earliest memory of being involved on the dairy in Chino, CA was the feeding of baby calves. Nature has a way of helping these small beasts get the nourishment they need from their mothers. A high powered vacuum attached to the front of their head called a mouth. My dad would bring us kids along to do the morning and afternoon chores. One of the things that needed to be done was to feed the calves. 

The babies are removed from their mothers soon after birth so as to harvest the milk for sales. The babies were fed milk from buckets in a group setting. Not the best environment, but it was what we had back then.

Well a small child was fair game for a hungry calf. Especially after feeding! They only know to suck and that they did. When they have finished their bucket of milk they would attack anything they could and suck on it. At first it was a bit traumatic, but as I grew older it was no big deal, but several calves would attack me and have me pinned in the corral. One attached to my arm, another to my face, the front of my shirt and the seat of my pants. If you were not careful they could suck your shirt right off.

I’m sure dad got a kick out of it every time one of us kids went into the calf pen with him. It actually worked well as a diversion so he could help a weaker calf drink with out competition from the others and him getting the sucking.

It was always fun as an older kid to bring city friends to the dairy and let them have a calf suck on their hand or arm or jeans. Freighting to some, but a truly amazing feeling!

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