GAP21: Intensive dairy in Denmark

GAP21 stands for Global Animal Production in the 21 Century. No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

Adorable, those young dairy calves. With their big eyes and wet noses, trying to lick you when you approach. In Denmark many dairy farms are so big that there are always some new born calves around. Farmers have mixed feelings when a new calf is born. Is it a cow or a bull calf? It’s a hard day, when mainly males are born. In Denmark it is not uncommon that the bull calves are shot, even before it had it’s first drink. All over the world farmers with specialized dairy systems face the same struggle: What to do with the bull calves? In some countries there are little issues raising these young bulls, but in Denmark that is not the case. ‘I wish I could let them live, but I will loose a lot of money on feeding it and in the end I can not sell it for a reasonable price’, a farmer explained. So this picture you see, it’s females only; their brothers never made it to the young stock stable. It was taken in 2012, but I am afraid there is no reason to believe the faith of bull calves has changed yet. 

Rosan

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