There are a lot of studies about how colostrum is good for calves, and the earlier they have it, the better the benefit. Some research shows that if they have it within the first 12 hours of life it's the most beneficial.
Kris first feeds calves from a bottle, like this:
He feeds them two bottles a day. Like human babies, it's not always intuitive. He has to cup their mouths with his hands, stick the bottle in, and hold it there until they're done drinking. Sometimes they really need coaxing to drink and it takes a long time for them to finish a bottle.
After two bottle feedings, he teaches them to drink from a bucket. Then they have milk twice a day and free choice water all day.
A friend brought her daughters yesterday, and they were excited to pet newborn calves:
After they left, my sons had some funny questions. First of all, my sons are with Kris and on the farm all the time. They love doing farming type things. So I laughed when my son asked, "Why did the girls say 'aw' when they saw the calves?"
(Do they not hear girls say 'aw'? Are the boys so used to calves they don't see their appeal anymore? Unsure.) I answered, "They thought they were cute."
He continued, "She asked if we had chickens. She thought we had a real farm."
"We DO have a real farm!" I said. Darn those children's books. Even my kids, born and raised on a farm, think it can only be a real farm if we own every type of barnyard animal? Ha! I explained the definition of a farm and how we met it.
He thought about it and said, "But we don't have any chickens."
That's true. We don't have any chickens. But we have lots of cows, a few cats, and more and more calves by the minute.