Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Honoring an Excellent Cow of Longevity!

Today was the County DHIA (Dairy Herd Information Association) meeting. While Jon and I did not attend, my in-laws did and brought home our information. Above is our cow Terry. She was honored as the county's 7th highest Lifetime producing cow. She is an amazing cow, and in fact is the mother of Theresa Ann, who I just blogged about yesterday. Terry has had an amazing journey to get to our farm and a great life along the way. Let start at the beginning:
Terry was born as #196 at our neighbor's farm over 11 years ago. She was raised in a nice calf barn then moved to lush pastures to grow into a great heifer. She delivered her first calf at this farm, a bull, milked in a nice, neat tie stall barn. The she was sold to a neighbor who milked her in a free stall barn, bred her back...and named her Terry. She lived at the 2nd neighbor's farm for about 2 years, then she was sold back to the original owner. It was from the original owner we purchased Terry. We brought her to Orange Patch Dairy 5 years ago. While at Orange Patch Dairy, Terry has delivered 2 bulls calves, 1 set of twin heifer calves, and one single heifer calf. Those heifers are all at our farm yet: named Terry II, Theresa Ann and Theresa Marie. Terry II has a daughter named Terry III and is due in July with another calf. Theresa Ann just gave birth to Theresa Joy last week and Theresa Marie is due next week. In fact Terry is due to calve again in July. At the age of 11 years 8 months, Terry has had 10 calves total and 8 lactations. Terry has produced over 220,000 pounds (over 25,600 gallons) of milk in her lifetime.
She's not the prettiest cow in the barn, she's showing her age, but she continues to be in good health, produce lots of milk (currently milking 100 pounds of milk each day=11.62 gallons), and produces nice calves. Did we push Terry to produce this much milk?-absolutely NOT! We keep Terry comfortable, housed in our pack barn. She is able to relax for over 15 hours each day on a comfortable and dry surface of bedding. She is milked twice each day and eats a completely balanced TMR ration that supplies her all of her daily needs. She is older than her herd mates and has special needs-we make sure that she has excellent health care and hoof trimming. Terry is a happy cow. She never kicks, always waits for her daily head scratching and is a pleasure to work with. We are so proud of her accomplishments and are truly amazed at how well she has aged. She continues to impress us each day. She's shorter and smaller than other cows, but with her maturity she pushes her "own weight" around. I know that she may have had rBST at other farms, but I assure you at our farm, she has NOT received any rBST as we do not use it. We firmly believe that if you care for your cows to the best of your ability and also provide them the best feeds possible, they will preform to the best of their genetic capabilities, and Terry proves this theory every day. So.....CONGRATULATIONS TERRY! WE SALUTE YOUR GREAT WORK PRODUCING A DELICIOUS PRODUCT FOR SO MANY YEARS!!!!!

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I write this blog to share my passion for my cows and farming, please be respectful of that. I reserve the right to delete those comments which portray hate, call names, and are out right disrespectful. If you have an honest question, I will respond, to explain what we do on our farm, why we do it and how we do it. Please read with an open mind. My time to blog is short, as most of our days are spent caring for our beloved cows. Thank you!