These are no Chihuahuas in fancy little coats, but the newborn calves at some of the farms of veterinarian Simon Timmermans, DVM, MS, Sibley, Iowa, are fashionably warm in the winter. Timmermans encourages his clients to buy sweatshirts, sweaters and vests at thrift stores, typically under $2 apiece, and put them on the calves right after birth when the average temperature falls below 40° F.

Timmermans likes the sweatshirts best as they stretch and cover more of the leg. Boys/girls sizes will fit the calves well. If you don’t want to cut off long sleeves, sweatshirts with zippers work well.

Timmermans says the extra warmth pays as calves that have these sweaters on will typically weigh 8 lbs. more at 1 month of age due to the reduction in maintenance energy requirements. The garments are washed between calves or if they get too soiled.

Timmermans advises clients to keep them on until the calves are eating calf starter at 1 pound per day which he says is usually around 4 weeks of age.