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Millie the Calf Demands Milk

November 14, 2022

Millie is one of three Scottish Highland calves I was weaning, but she was the only one of the three who refused to eat grain. While her weaning mates scarfed down grain and alfalfa cubes, Millie, a fluffy red heifer, stood at the gate calling to her mother. Rather than let her starve, I offered her a bottle of raw milk purchased from Huckins Farm Dairy in New Hampton, New Hampshire.

Once she tasted the milk, her universe shifted. She grabbed the nipple and sucked the bottle empty. Still hungry, Millie followed me butting my legs and nibbling my jacket for more delicious white stuff as thoughts of her mom floated away. I was her mom now. Running in circles and kicking up her heels, Millie followed me as I walked to the house and waited outside while I mixed another quart of replacer formula. The formula is dried milk combined with water to create liquid milk. After guzzling the milk replacer, she lay down in the grass and snoozed.

At first, Millie ran away from humans until they offered her a bottle; then, everyone was Mom. Now she is socialized and welcomes hugs, brushing, and deep massages, especially in those hard-to-reach spots on her back and rear legs.

Millie Wants Milk

At night, with a full belly, Millie sleeps in the holding pen with the other weanlings, and during the day, she wanders around the barnyard, nibbling green grass while waiting for another bottle. She has started eating bits of grain and will eventually be weaned from the bottle. Until then, she gets a gallon of milk every day.

Have you ever wanted to experience the joy of bottle-feeding a calf? Feeding time is split into two sessions at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and you are welcome to feed her during these times. Once she's finished with her daily gallon of milk replacer, she refuses to drink more, so come early if you want to feed her. But even if you don't get to bottle feed her, Millie loves hugs.

Hugable Millie

Visit with Millie and the other critters at Miles Smith Farm from Wednesday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. After you visit Millie, there are pumpkins to smash to feed our other hungry cattle. And if you'd like to take Millie home but don't have room, we have soft, plush, look-alike Highland stuffed cows for sale. Sales help support the farm's nonprofit Learning Networks Foundation and its Compassion for Critters mission.

So stop by, hug Millie, smash a pumpkin, feed a cow, all for a good cause.


Carole Soule

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