Pure Graze consults dairy farms in their switch from their traditional businessmodel naar “Natuurlijk Werken” een vorm van nature inclusive agriculture. The goal is to work as much as possible with nature and to remove everything that man has devised between the animal and the grass in order to get a simple businessmodel with low costs and low work pressure.
The dairy cows calve in the spring.
The advantage of leaving the calf with the cow is evident from the experience of a Pure Grazer below. Animals are largely self-reliant and mother and child get energy from each other's company.
One of the companies being guided is that of Anne and Mark Hardebol in Ribe, Denmark. They see clear differences around calving. Where in the old situation they tried to have everything under control, they now let the cows calve outside in the herd, do their own thing during calving and leave the calves with the cow for a few days and thus trust the cow itself to take care of the calf.
They had the following experience with a cow that calved too early:
In the morning Anne came into the milking parlor to say that cow "1518" had calved, but "it doesn't look good". The calf barely survived (swollen head), “I helped with the birth” and the cow hung its head. So I headed there with a calcium drip and liquid energy, not too hopeful of what I would find.
On arrival, the cow stood up anyway, a bit unsteady. She started nibbling on the grass and sniffing the calf. While I was watching the scene I thought: ”what now?”. A year ago it would have been the following. Calf in a hut under the warm lamp, colostrum with the probe. Cow in the straw pen, give energy drink and a calcium infusion.
But now. Since the cow was clearly interested in both the calf and the grass, I decided to move the calf and cow to the other side of the wire where there was clearly more grass and nothing else.
In the course of the morning I went there again, again with the still unused calcium infusion and the energy drink. To my surprise, the afterbirth had come off. The calf had moved a bit. Again I decided to do nothing, just observe. There was plenty of grass and water and the cow was grazing.
In the evening cow and calf walked side by side in the country, he still wobbly, but still. He also knew where to get the milk because as soon as they stopped drinking.
We are now three days further, the cow is grazing in abundance and the calf walks around it, he is occasionally called back by the cow, gets a lick on its head or back and can then go again.
I am amazed, because I had almost given up on both.
By buying our products you help farmers to work WITH nature.
-Written by Mark (dairy farmers from Denmark)-