It’s pitch black. The Sun won’t rise for another hour or so.
The ground around Tony Biffin’s dairy farm on the outskirts of Sydney is so wet vehicles are of no use today.
Tony’s son Todd is on horseback, preparing to herd the cattle inside for their morning milking.
Todd and his horse are invisible in the darkness, but you can hear the sound of his whistles directing the cows.
Once inside the dairy, Tony and Todd move busily, systematically attaching the milking machines to their cows.
They’ll milk about 120 in a couple of hours, but it’s not these adult milking cows that are the focus of today — it’s the nearby calves.
After the milking is done, Tony’s wife Debbie arrives and begins caringly handfeeding the calves from fresh buckets of milk.
But for four of these calves, the day holds a much less tender fate. Today, they’re having their horn buds removed.
It’s a process called “disbudding”.
It involves the horn buds being removed before they grow and attach to the cow’s skull. It’s a process that... see more