DROUGHT OPERATION: Monique and Ben Lobegeier with some of their rescued calves.
DROUGHT OPERATION: Monique and Ben Lobegeier with some of their rescued calves. Anastassia Perets

Love and food key to survival for drought effected calves

THERE are 30 new members of the Lobegeier family.

Their relatives out in Westwood were severely affected by the drought and so were their cattle.

So the Kapaldo residents brought the suffering calves to their property in January to give them a boost.

Monique Lobegeier said taking the orphans off their mothers was essential for their survival.

"The mothers just didn't have any milk," she said.

"The calves started from little crumbles. We tried to get a few to suck on a bottle but they didn't take that so we bought pellets from Kewpie.

These once starving calves have been nourished to health since January.Photo Anastassia Perets / Central and North Burnett Times
These once starving calves have been nourished to health since January.Photo Anastassia Perets / Central and North Burnett Times Anastassia Perets

"We also mixed some dry milk in there so they're getting some source of milk."

The original number of calves taken on by the Lobegeiers was 34.

"It's really upsetting when they die, we are really attached to these calves," Mrs Lobegeier said.

"The last one that died, we were feeding him separately and he was doing really well, but then there he was there lying down and we couldn't believe it.

"During the rain, the weakest ones could have got too cold or wet.

"The bigger ones have started eating grass now, and the rest of the calves should now survive."

When recovered, some of the good heifers might go back to Westwood.

As a lot of them are steers, they will stay at the Kapaldo property.

Mrs Lobegeier said conditions in Westwood had improved.

"It was just dirt and no grass out there, though it's okay now that it has rained," she said.

"Their mothers are recovering with the use of lick blocks."


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