Too weak to attract a buyer at a Queensland sale yard, these two cuties have just arrived at sanctuary and are in our intensive care barn while they recuperate from their ordeal. (Cale is now 7 years old and stands 2.1m high!
We suspect that both are bobby calves, bred to cows at dairy farms to keep the milk flowing. As males, they are considered waste products by an industry that only profits from females, and as such are routinely destroyed, sold, or slaughtered.
Had they been strong enough, these calves would probably have been bought by a slaughterhouse and would already be dead. However their feebleness, brought on by a lack of food, water and motherly care, has saved them and they will now get to live long, happy lives at sanctuary.
Fiona has fallen in love with the calves and is insists on spending time in the barn with them where she sleeps with one on each side.
Calves in the dairy industry may be removed from their mothers before they are four days old. On their fifth day they are transported to markets where they are often sold to slaughterhouses. They can be starved of food for up to 30 hours to ensure a “clean” carcass before being slaughtered.
While sale yards are meant to ensure that calves are not exposed to direct sunlight, Cale has a badly sunburnt nose indicating he was left to bake in the hot sun after being declared unsaleable.
Calves will frequently try to suckle the fingers of the people employed to slaughter them because of hunger and the loss of their mothers.
Not so for Cale and Alfie. These special guys will now live to be advocates for the millions of Australian cattle slaughtered by the beef and dairy industries every year in Australia alone. Through our website, emails and visits to the farm we will take you on their journey as they learn to enjoy a life of safety and care.
UPDATE: We have experienced feeding problems with little Cale, and he is running a temperature, so he has been transferred to hospital. We will update you on his status when we know more.