The Clippingers -- Caring for Veal Calves

The Clippinger family raises special fed veal calves in Blair County, Pennsylvania. In business for five years, the Clippingers take pride in the care they provide for the calves on their farm each and every day. Approximately 200 Holstein bull (male) calves are fed for veal production on their farm. The family will feed a group of calves for about 20 weeks, or five months, until they weigh 475-500 pounds and are ready for market.

While the veal industry is challenging, with feed & calf costs constantly fluctuating, the Clippingers are committed to giving all their calves quality care. They feed their animals milk replacer formula, similar in consistency to infant formula, twice daily; it provides complete nutrition for the growing calves. They also check each calf for any sign of health problems and consult with a veterinarian as necessary. Like most barns, the Clippinger’s veal barn is a climate controlled environment, allowing them to adjust the temperature, depending on the season, to keep their calves comfortable.

The Clippinger family has heard many of the misconceptions about the veal industry. They want people to know that the calves they raise for veal are not newborn calves. They also want people to know that with the advent of artificial insemination in the dairy industry, most bulls became a by-product. Farmers like the Clippingers convert that by-product into a nutritious protein source served at some of the finest restaurants. They joke that veal is the “Rich Man’s Beef.”

Pennsylvania currently leads the nation in veal production. The veal industry uses more than 5 billion pounds of whey and milk byproducts, which might otherwise occupy landfill space.

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