Starfish Calves

Not everyone knows that in New Zealand in the year 2014 two million tiny 4-7 day old calves were put on a truck and sent to slaughter as unwanted by-products of the dairy industry. The number will be similar if not more for the year just gone. Minus of course the 11 we rescued in the year 2015 and 30 the year before. These numbers barely register. While they get to live their lives in peace we have to remember the calves who went to slaughter. They paid the ultimate price. Yogurt does not just cost $3.99 a dozen. The externalized cost is the life of a newborn calf like the ones you will be able to get to know through this page. They were all rescued by us, but would have gone on the bobby calf truck. Bobby calves represent the true price of milk, yogurt , cheese and other dairy ‘goods’. They paid with their lives and they paid with their suffering. The behind the scenes reality of these babies is hidden from public view, and if people only knew what they suffered they would be appalled. They are handled often times very roughly by desensitized workers who throw them on the truck despite laws against this. They are then transported for hours (there is an 12 hour window for drivers from start to finish to get the calves to the destination). Then they may wait hours until they are killed. All without milk and their mother who has been taken to the milking shed. My aim is to bring this into the light through the rescue of a few who would otherwise go on the truck. These are just a few of our rescue babies over the last two years. Enjoy. In memory of those who died.

This is Hope.
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Hope
Hope was a little heifer born late on a dairy farm and out of sync with the rest of the calving (September- October 2015). The farmer had already kept all the calves he wanted for replacement herd and so Hope was surplus to requirements. This healthy, cute and vigorous young calf was due to go on the bobby truck for no reason except she was not economically viable. I took her on and she has thrived from the moment I have had her. She has grown into a sweet little girl-  intelligent and friendly. She is named Hope because she represents the hope for a future world that is more peaceful and compassionate – one governed by strong morals rather than profit margins.

This is Chloe
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Chloe(born late July 2015) who has now been rehomed with one of our other calves Checker. Chloe was a little heifer born as a twin to a boy calf. As such, she is what is considered a ‘freemartin’, and is most likely to be infertile. That is a death sentence for a wee heifer born on a dairy farm as she will never have a calf herself and hence not lactate. Chloe is a really sweet natured girl, but a born leader and quickly took over the helm of her little herd. She was always first for milk , without fail and eagerly drank. She is friendly and has gone to a home where she will be loved and cared for forever.

This  is Checker
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Checker(born September 2014) . Checker was tagged for the bobby calf truck but the farmer let me have him instead. He is a gregarious little character (now a yearling so not so little) who loves his MOOSLI and the occassional pat.



This is wee Faith
Starfish_Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Faith(born September- October  2015) . Faith is another ‘freemartin’ born at the same time as Hope. She is a twin to Luka. Faith is very docile and quiet, staying back and not pushing in. She loves being patted and when I first got her she came straight up to me. She almost climbed on my lap! She is particularly close to her twin Luka. Faith was with me for a little bit and then got very sick with pneumonia. She was treated for it by the vet and bounced back quickly. She is a little smaller than the others due to this setback but is now doing well. Little calves are very vulnerable to illnesses as they may not have got enough colostrum from their mothers after birth. This is necessary to prevent them getting ill as without it they have virtually no antibodies to ward off bugs. The time they must get enough of this is critical – within 24 hours of birth.

This is Gabriel.
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf GabrielGabriel was a breech birth and it must have ripped his umbilicus as he developed an abscess and infection there.  When he was a baby he also  caught a bug off Carlos and went downhill. He was a very gentle soul, not quite sure of his place in the world and a little lost. He tried to follow the others around but was always last , looking bewildered and wondering where they are going. Gabriel was initially shy of me, but after I nursed him through an umbilical cord infection he became a big sook and cuddles up to me all the time. We are very close and he lets me sit with him and rub his neck and give him cuddles. We have a strong bond and I love him to bits.

This is Jupiter
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Jupiter
(born Sept/Oct 2015) he is a beautiful orangey brown colour with  a little star on his forehead. He is super healthy and gregarious, loves his milk and hanging out with Hope. This little guy has given my no worries and is getting friendlier by the day.

This is Sammy
Starfish Bobbbycalf Project Sammymy companion and scavenger of milk scraps from the calf bucket! Initially he was TERRIFIED of the calves as they would come up and lick him . He has got accustomed to them but keeps a wary distance.



This is Cassidy
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Cassidy(born late July 2015) . He is super cute and very shy. When I first got him he was traumatised and tried to keep hiding behind anything he could find. He scrunches his little nose up regularly and looks so sweet. He is very peaceful.




Faith  and twin Luka.
Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Faith-LukaLuka is Faith’s twin brother. The two share a close bond. Luka is growing well and is eager for food. He is quite shy, but loves to be petted while he drinks his milk.







Starfish Bobbycalf Project Rescued Calf Cassidy Luka





Cassidy and Jupiter together. These two have a close bond.