Definition of bobby calf in English:

bobby calf


  • An unweaned calf slaughtered for veal.

    • ‘Before I left I asked him if the bobby calves were still around, and he told me they were over in the river paddock.’
    • ‘This is because bobby calves are traditionally slaughtered at less than three weeks of age rather than at over two months of age.’
    • ‘A bobby calf is a very young calf slaughtered for human consumption.’
    • ‘A zero milk, meat and bobby calf withholding period means you can use it any time of the year such as before calving or while they are milking.’
    • ‘Were it not for the beef industry, the saleable meat harvested from this large pool of animals would be their bobby calf carcass weight.’
    • ‘The current closure of the slaughter house has meant that the number of bobby calves is building up on farms.’
    • ‘It has strongly opposed the use of the tags on bobby calves going to slaughter from this time.’
    • ‘They are typically content to sell their male calves off as bobby calves, at around 4 days to 2 weeks of age, and retain their heifer calves as re-stockers for their older milkers in their herd.’
    • ‘Dairy farmers will no longer have to pay for bobby calf national vendor declaration forms.’
    • ‘In return the sharemilker receives 29% of the farm's milk income and a half share of bobby calf income.’
    • ‘Which means they mostly get sold off as bobby calves and shipped off to the meatworks.’
    • ‘So often do I see poorly reared calves on our Maori farms that I wonder why they do not send them all off in the bobby calf lorry and not bother to take the trouble to try and rear them at all.’
    • ‘The price paid as calculated in accordance with paragraph above is in full and final settlement of the bobby calves collected by Taylor Preston.’
    • ‘Furthermore, milk from treated cows should not be fed to bobby calves without consideration of an appropriate meat withholding period for the calves.’
    • ‘This interactive calculator allows the user to calculate the sale price needed to generate a specific net profit for a bobby calf rearing enterprise where the user also inputs the starting live weight, purchase cost, growth rate, feed costs (milk powder or whole milk and meal), and rearing time.’
    • ‘Producers also use them for dead bobby calves as there is also someone that calls around to collect them as well.’
    • ‘If you produce or sell or transport bobby calves, you need to pay close attention to how you manage them.’
    • ‘Mr Glanville emphasised that bobby calves were only those less than six weeks of age that were unaccompanied by their mothers at the time they are transported.’
    • ‘A calf was born while the cattle were on Mark's property and Joe subsequently decided to sell the 4 week old bobby calf as well as 3 more of his 10 cattle then bring the rest back to his property.’
    • ‘This booklet is for farmers who supply bobby calves for collection.’


1920s: perhaps from bob, bobby calf being one of a number of collocations where bobby has the sense ‘small, short’. Compare with the dialect term staggering bob for a very young calf or its meat, recorded from the late 18th century, perhaps from the pet form of Robert.


bobby calf