Who is the dairy cow?
Dairy cows are shy, gentle, intelligent animals that are highly social and like to have a strong network of companions. They have an average lifespan of 20 years, however, in commercial production are slaughtered at around 5.5 years old after just two to three calvings.
Dairy cows are bred specifically to produce large quantities of milk. They are required to give birth to one calf annually to produce milk for 10 months of the year. They are usually artificially inseminated within three months of giving birth.
Who is the dairy calf?
Dairy calves are shy and playful animals that love to socialise with other calves. They can live on average 20 years but are often slaughtered around six months of age in commercial veal production.
Most female calves will be reared to join the milking herd, but as male calves cannot produce milk, they are considered surplus to the dairy industry. Male calves will either be shot after birth (in countries where veal is not consumed, like the UK) or sold to be reared for veal or beef.
Read below to discover how to provide dairy cows and calves with a better quality of life.