Thursday , June 6 2024
What Do You Call A Baby Cow

What Do You Call A Baby Cow? Life Of A Baby Cow 

Cows are one of the most widely used agricultural animals in the world. They are mainly used as livestock for meat, milk, manure, and skin for leather production. 

Cows usually give birth to one child about nine months after mating, but twins are conceivable. These animals are reared mostly for dairy production, meat or veal production.

The horn of certain breeds of baby cow is polled genetically, while many others are dehorned at a young age to make them simpler to move around and easy to handle 

Now, here’s a popular question.

What do you call a baby cow?

A baby cow is called a calf. A heifer is a female calf, whereas a bull is a male calf. A baby bovine is a calf of any sex.

A heifer is a young female cow that has never given birth. A heifer becomes a cow (the name of a female cow) after giving birth to her first calf. A bull refers to an adult cow. A castrated male breed is referred to as a steer, bullock, or ox.

Keep reading to know more about baby cows. 

What Is The Worth Of A Baby Cow?

The size and weight can determine the value of a cow. A day-old calf is typically priced between $40 and $50 and has a significant mortality rate.

A 4 to 6 months old cow is productive and sturdy, which is why it is costly. A calf costs approximately $750, and a beef costs around $650 each year. And based on their weight, older cows will cost more.

What Kind Of Meat Does A Baby Cow Produce?

In contrast to the beef from an older cow, the meat a baby cow produces is veal. 

Veal is the meat of a calf of 16 and 18 weeks old. It is not fed with grains or grasses. The flesh has an exquisite texture and a milky greyish pink color. In comparison, the beef of older cows is reddish.

Veal can be produced by a calf of any gender or breed; nevertheless, male calves are often used for most veal. They are not kept for breeding. In terms of cost, veal is more costly than beef of an adult cow.

Young female or male calves not needed for dairy purposes are butchered and processed into veal at their tender age. These baby cows are kept in veal crates. The veal crates are plastic huts that house a calf.  

Calves that are processed for veal, their muscles are restricted from developing. While in the veal box, they are fed an artificial milk substitute. They are not allowed to run or do any rigorous walk activity. The aim is to make their meat succulent for the people who will eat them.

What Are The Different Veal Cuts Of A Baby Cow?

  • Veal chops are found in the thigh or the rib. They are thick, bone-in, and fleshy. Grilling, broiling and roasting are the preferred ways to prepare them.
  • The veal shank is derived from the hind leg, the leg bone under the knee, and the shoulder. Veal shank usually is cross-cut to show a trans-section of the shin bone. 
  • Veal cutlets are also referred to as round steaks. They are tiny, and it has a thickness of about t ¼ inch from the leg.
  • Veal sweetbreads are young calves’ thymus glands (found in the throat region) and pancreas (located in the abdomen). The approximate weight of the thymus gland for a newborn calf is about 92g.
  • Ground veal is composed of veal trimmings and is thin. It’s most commonly used with other ground meats like ham and steak.

What Is The Size Of A Baby Cow?

At birth, calves weigh between 60 and 100 pounds. They can stand, walk, and nurse within an hour of labor.

Is A Baby Cow Born With An Immune System?

Calves have a weak immune system when they are born. The immune response of a calf is present, but it is significantly lower than the adult cow. 

Colostrum is the first milk a cow produces after giving birth. Colostrum is an essential source of nutrients and antibodies for the calf’s survival, and it is required for the calf’s wellbeing.

What Are The Benefits Of Colostrum To A Baby Cow?

The mammary gland produces colostrum immediately after birth. Only the first milking produces pure colostrum. The cow’s milk, referred to as transition milk, is the baby cow’s milk after the first milking.

The primary source of nourishment for a calf is the colostrum. Pure colostrum contains two to three times the minerals and five times the protein of whole milk.

Colostrum also includes hormones and growth regulators that are required for the digestive tracts growth and development. 

Colostrum has a reduced lactose content, which reduces the risk of diarrhea. The milk collected after the first milking is of lower quality than the milk obtained during the first milking and it should not be given to the newborn calf as colostrum milk.

Early in the development, calves who do not obtain sufficient amounts of high-quality colostrum are more vulnerable to illnesses. 

What Are The Feeding Practices For A Baby Cow At Birth?

  •  A baby cow’s udders should be tidied up before allowing the calf to nurse or immediately remove it from the mother.
  • Hand-Fed high-quality colostrum should be fed to calves after birth.
  • Daily, give your calf a clean milk replacer, calf starter, and freshwater. Ensure that you provide water at least twice a day. Place these outside the cage to avoid contamination from urine and dung.

How Do You Keep A Premature Baby Cow Alive?

If a newborn calf is born too slowly or with a tough pull, it may be stressed at the time of birth. Because the calf is pressurised, a yellow discoloration is the calf’s first feces passed in gestation.  

The extra attention is given to the infant to get it up and to run. They include the following:

  • Make sure your calf is clean, dry, and warm. Cold calves are prone to pneumonia and scour. It may be good to use a heater vent or an area with a heat lamp.
  • Set the calf upright and stroke its sides to stimulate breathing if it is born alive but not breathing well independently. Respiratory stimulants are available in vet stores to keep at hand for such emergencies. 
  • Give colostrum to the newborn calf as soon as possible. Because it is for the calf’s resistance to disease, the colostrum is effectively the calf’s only opportunity of survival. 

A calf who does not receive enough colostrum soon after birth will not have a fully developed immune system until around eighteen weeks and will become ill repeatedly before falling to a virus or bacteria.

  • Administer Vitamin E/Selenium injections on the young calf to help prevent White Muscle Disease.
  • Scours, umbilical diseases, and related other diseases are avoided by keeping the surroundings where the calf is born and reared dry and clean. A clean environment is key to the wellbeing of the newborn calf.
  • If calves are fed creep feed, they will grow more quickly. It can serve as a coccidiosis scours prevention in calves.

What Do You Feed A Baby Cow?

Calves get the majority of their nutrients from milk during their first two weeks of life. Calves can be fed whole milk, waste milk, fermented colostrum, or milk replacer, starting at four days old.

Bedding For A Baby Cow

The bedding mainly determines calf comfort. It’s critical to keep track of bedding during the early stages of pre-weaning. A cushioned resting surface can be provided by a large, dry bed of soft material.

What Is The Benefit Of A Calf Starter For A Baby Cow?

The rumen, reticulum, and omasum, the first three components of the stomach, are underdeveloped at birth and do not aid in the digestion of meals for the very young calf.

The rumen begins to develop when the calf begins to eat calf starter (a blend of grains, protein source, minerals, and vitamins) and drink water.

At about four days of age, calves should be fed calf starter. Calf starters should be made using highly appealing elements and provide appropriate protein, minerals, and vitamins.

A calf starter is used to transit a calf from the milk-feeding phase to the dry-feeding stage. Calf starter is critical for healthy rumen growth, adequate body growth, and effective calf weaning.


A baby cow is called a calf. The male calf is a bull, while the female is a heifer. At birth, it has minimal immunity to diseases. 

A baby cow’s resistance to diseases increases when it is fed with high-quality colostrum, its mother’s first milk after birth, regularly to increase its chances of survival.

At the early stage of its development, a calf is well attended to, kept in a clean environment, and fed with high-quality milk and other food.

The bottom line is, keeping a newborn calf alive and thriving will undoubtedly help them and a good start for calves to grow to their full potential.

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