Calf-at-Foot means Calves stay with Cows until they are weaned
We operate a Calf-at-Foot policy. This means that at Mossgiel Organic Farm, our calves stay with their Mothers until they are old enough to be weaned – usually between 6 and 8 months. This is when the calves begin to socialise together in groups and not stay at the Cow’s side every second of the day.
Calves are born without any antibodies in their blood and the Milk that they take from their Mother in the first 2 days is extra important in quickly building up their immune systems.
It has been the convention in the UK to remove calves from their Mothers after a day or two. This is very distressing for both the Cow and the Calf. It is also something that we believe is unnecessary and we actively campaign for other Farms to join us in stopping it as a practice.
Do baby calves drink a lot of milk? Yes, yes they do!
Does this mean that we have less to bottle and sell to you? Yes, it does.
Why do we do things this way?
Farming Organically means that we are not placing an undue burden on our Cows. An Organically Farmed Cow will produce between 8 and 12 litres of Milk per day. This compares to the figure of between 25 and 30 litres per day that conventional methods force out of Cows. Forcing Milk production adversely affects the health of the cow in many ways, the most severe of which is that it shortens its life. A conventionally farmed Cow might have a life expectancy of around 5/6 years whereas an Organically farmed Cow can live to 12/14 years.
We Farm Organically and we expect our Cows to have a long and healthy life. We therefore want them to get off to the best possible start in life. That’s why we feed them nature’s original super-food: Milk.