Our dairy success starts with the cow—special care is given as soon as each calf is born.

Our maternity ward is dedicated to expectant mothers, and newborns are moved to soft bedding in a warm, temperature-controlled calf barn. In the wintertime, they are even given special calf jackets!

Initially, calves receive their mother’s colostrum in a bottle and are later switched to pasteurized milk with special calf vitamins. They are then moved to the Ponderosa Calf Ranch where they receive daily health checks.

At five months of age, the calves, now young heifers, graduate to live in larger groups in a freestall barn.

All calves are equipped with an RFID tag to track many important details, providing transparency to our partners and consumers. The RFID tag lets us know exactly when cows have given birth, when they were last milked, their health history and what food they last ate.

Pagel’s Ponderosa takes every measure possible to give calves a happy and healthy start to life. Proper care from the very beginning eventually turns a happy calf into a high-producing cow.