I thought I would tell you all a little bit about the farm! Our dairy farm was established in 1986 by my husband’s parents. The family started small and eventually grew to our current size of 520 milking cows. All our cows are Holsteins, aka the “black and whites ones” and, in my opinion, the best breed!
All the cattle on the farm are cows (girls). The girls are the milk makers. We don’t keep any bulls (boys) on the farm because they tend to be mean and dangerous. When a bull calf is born at our farm we feed and care for him for a few days before eventually selling him. Now, you might be wondering “If you don’t have any bulls at the farm, how do you get the cows pregnant and continue to have baby calves?”. The cows on the farm are artificially inseminated (A.I.) with purchased semen from various bulls. Artificial insemination helps us avoid inbreeding our cows and eliminates bulls in the barn, keeping everyone safer.
The cows are housed in what we dairy farmers call a free-stall barn. A free-stall barn is a large barn with a few pens and a bedded stall for every cow to rest in. The cows are not tied up and free to move about the pen. Get it…free-stall barn? Three times a day we move the cows from their pen and to the milking parlor to be milked. Meanwhile, we clean their pen and waterers and bring fresh feed. Cows poop A LOT, so we are always cleaning!
Tom, my in-laws, a few others, and I do our best to care for the cows every day. Our goal is to keep the cows as happy and comfy as possible. Happy cows make milk and milk is money, baby!
Fun fact: A milking cow eats approximately 100 lbs of feed a day