A farm in Turkey deliberately employs women to take care of calves

Ayten Yigitoglu, a mother of three, has a special job at Herkul Ranch, in Edirne Province, Western Turkey. Every day he takes the newborn calves to a special facility to bathe the animals and feed them milk.

In this special care, baby cows that have been bathed are placed on clean haystacks, around which are placed heating lamps. Yigitoglu and a number of her co-workers, who are also women, were tasked with loving the calves .

“Frankly, taking care of babies is my world. Newborn calves do not know how to drink milk. They are just like human babies. We try to encourage them to adapt.”

Yigitoglu takes care of the calves for the first 60 days of life and even teaches them how to drink milk.

A worker pours milk for calves at Be'er Tuvia farm, southern Israel, February 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)/illustration

A worker pours milk for calves at Be’er Tuvia farm, southern Israel, February 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)/illustration

Sevim Karabas, a mother of two who is a colleague of Yigitoglu, finances the schooling of her two daughters with the salary she earns from the farm. She works 12 hours a day, not only taking care of the calves but also the adult cows every day.

Karabas says he takes care of the calves with motherly love. He did not hesitate to hug and carry them when they looked uncomfortable.

“I’ve been working here for seven years. They are all like my children. My co-workers and I love them,” he explained.

Fatih Orhan, a veterinarian at the farm, said the reason Herkul farm management employs women exclusively is because women provide better care in terms of pregnancy and childbirth.

Calves at the Be'er Tuvia farm, southern Israel, February 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)/illustration.

Calves at the Be’er Tuvia farm, southern Israel, February 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)/illustration.

The farm now has a calf mortality rate of only 5-6 percent per year, a percentage that the owner and manager can tolerate. This figure is much lower than before they employed women.

“These female workers take care of the calves for the first 60 days of their lives. This is a very important period given the relatively short lifespan of cows on farms, and mothers usually don’t take care of their calves. them to the calves, while taking care of their health.” [ab/uh]