Today Eyes on Animals visited the Zonnehoeve farm, where among other things, they produce milk. They have 60 lactating cows and their young. Both male and female calves are kept with their mother for at least 4 months after birth.
At the age of 4 months, the calves’ stomach is turning into a rumen, when they replace milk with roughage in their diet. This they do by grazing in groups on a nature reserve. After the weaning process, the calves find their mothers again while living in a complete herd later on.
The animals have access to a large outdoor pasture and a nature reserve as well as to a loose-housing barn with plenty of deep-bedding. They do not de-horn the cattle and they use a mixed-breed bovine that is healthier than the pure Holstein. The culled-cows are sent to a small local slaughterhouse. They have very low incidences of mastitis in the cows or diarrhea in the calves.
Zonnehoeve, together with three other farmers, want to start their own milk factory so that their milk is labelled according to the extra welfare and environmental consideration they put into it. Eyes on Animals is fully in support of this idea and looks forward to a time when one can find milk in the stores that come from cattle that have been kept with their calves like this!
At the moment their farm produce is on sale via their webshop www.hofwebwinkel.nl.