Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good Morning Good News! March 11, 2014 - All About Cows

Good morning and Happy Tuesday everyone from Rikki's Refuge! Today's blog is all about cows! Moooooo!

 Rikki's Refuge currently has six cows. 


Calvin the blond guy. He was owned by an older lady who was having trouble getting out to feed him and care for him and trouble managing bags of feed and bales of hay. Her husband was having to help and had never liked her having a pet cow. He thought they should slaughter Calvin and eat him. She was really upset. So Calvin came to Rikki's. He was about 4 when he arrived. His two older friends came wtih him. It's the night time pictures you'll see of cows getting off a truck. White Lady and Horned Lady 

 The average body temperature of a cow is 101.5°F.

 Zach, Frisco and Samson would love your daily Shelter Challenge vote for Rikki's Refuge!
VOTE HERE: http://www.shelterchallenge.com/web/charityusa/nomineehome?userId=53331&nomineeId=17448


 Did you know the first cow in America arrived in Jamestown colony in 1611? Until the 1850's, nearly every family had its own cow.

 Cows drink about a bathtub full of water and eat around 40 pounds of food a day.

 Cows have 32 teeth:
8 incisors on the bottom front,
6 molars on the top and bottom of each side,
A tough pad of skin instead of teeth on the top front

 Holsteins are black and white, and each has a unique pattern. A Holstein calf weighs 80-110 lbs. at birth. A mature Holstein cow weighs 1,300-1,500 lbs.

 Jerseys vary from dark brown or fawn, and sometimes are splashed with white. A Jersey calf weighs around 60 lbs. at birth. A mature Jersey cow weighs 900-1,000 lbs. 
(We are not quite sure what Calvin is, more than likely he is of "mixed" parentage, but he resembles a Jersey.) 

 “The successes and failures of yesterday are gone, today is a new day.” 
 ~~ Noel DeJesus ~~

 Every meal for every animal, every day, is provided by donations from YOU, our caring supporters!
 If you prefer, you may send your donation to Rikki's Refuge by regular mail. Send your check or money order to: 
 Rikki's Refuge
PO Box 1357
Orange, VA. 22960 

 The veal calf industry is one of the most reprehensible of all the kinds of intensive animal agriculture. Veal calves are a by-product of the dairy industry; they are "manufactured" by "milk machines" - dairy cows. Female calves are raised to be dairy cows: They are confined and fed synthetic hormones to increase growth and production and antibiotics to keep them alive in their unhealthy, unnatural environments. They are artificially inseminated and, after giving birth, are milked for several years until their production levels drop, then they are slaughtered. 
or copy and paste this link: 

 If you would like to learn more about how your steak gets to your plate, we recommend that you watch the documentary called: "FOOD, INC." There are many FREE sources to view it online, and it should also be available in your local library.



 White Lady and Horned Lady, 24 and 26, and they lived with us for a while, and passed away. 
 Two summers ago a gal called and said she'd picked up a veal calf and it was really sick and she thought it' die and could we take it. That was William. So she brought him out and he was about week old. Cows get horrible diarrhea and will die if you don't treat it. His was terrible. He also had a respiratory infection and he hadn't been getting fed enough. It takes a HUGE amount of food for a baby cow. You've seen the pictures of the bottles ... well it's like 4 of those a day divided up into 8-16 feedings in the beginning. Just like a kitten .... but 200 x the size !!!!
 The first couple of nights Lena and I thought William would die and we stayed up with him in the barn. We had to tube feed him at first cuz he wouldn't suck. But he started feeling better and sucking soon and did fine. He's grown to be the biggest of the black and white boys.
 About 3 weeks later a volunteer called and said she'd seen two veal calf twins on craigs list "For sale as pets or dinner" for "only" $250. Well on the market such babies bring $30-$50 if healthy. Many twins don't survive and often the smaller is tossed aside to die. Or both of them if they're small and look like they'll need much care to survive. In a world where you're a commodity, or I should say your flesh is, your only value is if you survive to a certain age and then can be killed and your flesh sold by the pound. So if you're not likely to survive, or to grow on your feed, it's not cost effective to keep you alive and try to save you.
 So this volunteer asked if they bought these babies, would I come out and pick them up. I said yes and we headed off to get them. This was one smart farmer. He'd learned how to make animals lovers feel sorry for the "waste" of his business, and make even more money off them. 
 There was a big horse trailer, divided in half, sitting in the driveway, in the beating sun, it was hot out, no shade. Inside the stifling trailer were a set of twins on both sides - cow poop covering the floor, full of flies ... stench ... horrid.
The guy said pick which twins you want, don't matter to me, the other's 'll be bbq tonight.  
 Need I say what happened next? My volunteer there who was buying the first ones got very upset (as did all of us) and said can we have them too. He said yeah .... for another $250 ..... She tried negotiating and he came down to $480 for all 4. 
We could only get two at a time in the van we'd brought, and they didn't have the extra money on them and had to go back to town to an atm for it.
  So we headed home with Micky and Zach .... the two frailest. Zach was terribly frail, couldn't even stand up. Really looked bad. They were both so weak they had to be carried. Micky was about 40 pounds, Zach 30. 
We went back to get the others .... while they were loading, I slipped over to talk to the farmer, acting like I was just driving and not emotionally involved, ask him how he'd figured out how to get so much money for these babies and how htat biz was. He was very proud of himself. Said he figured out how to make them animal rights people pay thru the nose. All them yuppies movin out here .... they think you're gonna eat one of 'em ... they'll pay all kinds of money to save their lives ....  
 So he took the calves he didn't expect to survive and instead of leaving them to die, he sold them to "yuppies".
 In the next load we took Samson and Harry home. 
 Three of them responded well to treatment and were soon gaining weight. Zach kept having problems. Our vet felt he didn't have a chance. At one point he was horribly anemic, had pneumonia and terrible diarrhea. It had been super hot, but we suddenly got a cold wet snap. So we had to bring him inside. We put him in the bathroom. It was rather horrible, cus he still had terrible gaseous diarrhea. So the constant clean up horrid. Even having several inches of straw on the floor ... oh my the mess !!!! 
We continued to tube feed him --- force feeding where you put a tube down their throat when they won't swallow. He was getting several meds. Our doc said only perseverance will save him. And even then ..... I really don't know ....
Slowly he improved, finally started drinking his milk. Got the poo firmed up, stopped coughing and snotting. And got to go back out to live with his friends.
By then they'd all way outgrown him. And he didn't have as much energy. They'd be running and leaping and he'd lay around.
He'd also had an infected umbilicus that we'd treated. It had healed but the damage had left a hernia. When they went in to repair that, they found he also still had a lot of infection inside. They cleaned that out, and once again said .... mmmmm this is touch and go ..... he's a pretty weak little guy.
Once again he survived. And then really started to grown. Now he's the same size as all his bros.
So what's the deal with veal calfs? Mammals are all alike. In order to have milk, your body has to think you need it. Hoomans don't run around with milk all the time. It's something that happens when a mammal is pregnant, that triggers hormones to make changes and to get ready to produce milk. Then when the baby is born, the mother first has a very rich secretion called colostrum. This has a lot of immunity against all kinds of things that the mother is passing on to the baby to give the baby a better chance of survival.   
In the old days, dairy farmers let the little boys stay with their mom's for a couple days to get that advantage. Their chance of survival was greater.
But that product has become coveted in the hooman health food industry and so now it's milked and sold for hoomans while the baby cows are allowed to suffer without it.
 So ... in the dairy biz ... the girl babies will go on to be dairy cows. They are taken from the mother at birth and usually bottle fed a formula. It's cheaper to feed them a less quality formula, than it is to let them have their own mother's milk. Cuz a hooman will pay more to buy "real" milk than the replacement is for the baby. So almost no dairy cows today ever suckle from their mothers.
The boy baby cows are set aside to turn into veal. Veal is baby cow that has been kept anemic, not allowed much sunlight, and not allowed exercise, they're usually chained by a hind leg. "Raising" the meat this way makes it soft (no muscle tone) and pale (anemic). So if you believe you are what you eat .....
And so ... that's where the cows have come from.


Sneaking in OPIE'S WEATHER REPORT for today! 

and today's vegan recipe from Rikki's Refuge!