It's a Cow's Life
Comfortable and Contented Cows
- The Farmer’s Cow places highest importance on the health and comfort of our most important asset: our cows. Healthy animals—from birth to milking age—require proper care throughout the seasons.
- A cow starts to produce milk when she’s about two years old.
- When she gives birth to her first calf, or “freshens,” she will produce milk for about 9-10 months.
- A cow carries a calf 285 days before giving birth - similar to how long humans carry their babies. After giving milk for 10 months, she’s “dried off,” and moved to a separate area for special treatment in preparation for calving again.
- Our milking cows roam freely around the barn, and are free to eat all they want, whenever they want, out of a feed bunk. Each farm feeds its own combination of corn silage, grass silage, cornmeal, minerals, canola, soybean meal, and/or citrus pulp.
- Cows require lots of water - as much as 40 gallons per day. In our barns they’re free to drink whenever they choose.
- All these good eats contribute to milk production—a mature Holstein cow will typically produce 8 gallons of milk each day.
- Cows eat very rapidly, but then when they’re relaxing later cows regurgitate their food and chew on it again. This is known as chewing their cud. This process allows their saliva to further break down the forages, working through their digestive system to sustain milk production and health. A cow might chew her cud as much as eight hours each day.
- When she’s ready to rest, a cow can choose a private stall that’s thickly bedded with sawdust and lie down safely.
- Comfort is key— our barns include wide alleys, high sidewalls and large overhangs to optimize airflow, fans and misters to keep the cows cool in the summer, and special curtains that close in cold weather to minimize chilling winds and drafts through the barn.
- Veterinarians are a key part of our team, and visit our farms regularly to check on animals we’re concerned about, and to do routine testing on their health.