Monday, July 5, 2010

Mental Health Day!

Every once in awhile the grind and stress of a dairy farm gets to us.  I would say that every couple months or so, we try to take at least one day off from the farm, making sure that we can relax and someone else is in charge of the cows.  Thank you so much to our awesome helpers, milking and feeding the cows and calves while we were gone.  On our day off we decided to celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary and the 4th of July.  We went to a local amusement park to "relieve" some stress.  It was an awesome day!  As a result though we had to work hard before the day off...and work hard afterwards to catch up.  Who knew cows were more work than milking and feeding?  Yep, we needed to bed the calves, heifers, and cows in before we left and then when we came back.  There was cows to breed, heifers to treat (one got sick with bloat while we were gone) and there were various other small projects to work on.  But every once in awhile it is nice to walk away from the "To Do List" and come back refreshed and renewed!  I know the cows appreciate that we are in a better mood...and we do too! 

So I am back and caught up...and ready to blog some stay tuned, I have a bunch of pictures and video to share in the coming weeks.


  1. Hi~ I'm a Southern California city girl (although I DO have a garden...) and I'm also a huge animal rights advocate. I'm trying to get the real take on dairy cows. You seem to greatly care about your cows and calves. I hear horror stories about how momma cows and calves will cry for days when separated. Has this been your experience? Do you let the calves stay with their moms? I know dairy farming has to be a tough life and you have to maximize profits by getting all the milk possible. Please enlighten me. I'm so frustrated by the contradictory information on the Internet so I thought I'd go to the source.

  2. Linda:

    Thank you so much for your interest in dairying! It's great for you to be asking these questions. I can definitely share with you my experience on our farm.

    Our cows spend about 1-6 hours with their calves depending on when during the day they are born. If a calf is born over night then they will spend a longer time (til morning when we find them), but if they are born in the afternoon they will spend about an hour with their moms. We move the calves for a number of reasons, and each farm is different, as we all have different barns & animals. We move our calves to make sure that they stay free of pathogens. Please feel free to read any of my posts which explain this practice a little more thoroughly. We make sure the newborns get at least one gallon of colostrum (cow's first milk) within hours of birth. If we would leave the calf with the cow, this might not be possible. We move the cow, making sure that she takes care of herself. Fresh cows (cows that just had calves) can suffer from a variety of diseases after giving birth if they do not take care of themselves. By moving them to a pen with ample feed, water, and cooling in the summer time, we are able to make sure that our "moms" are pampered and cared for. They receive daily medical monitoring....making sure that they don't get sick. As for crying for their calves, once we move a calf a cow may bellar for the calf for a few short minutes, but most often the cow will go to the nearest water tank or feed bunk. I guess we would like to think that our cows know that their calves are in good hands, therefore they can go back to caring for themselves.

    Dairying is hard, but our profitablity relies on more than making a lot of milk from our cows. We are most profitable when our cows are living long healthy lives at our farm. The more calves cows can have and the longer they live, the more profitable they are. As a result, profit is made by giving our cows the BEST care possible. Prevention is they key to medical care, comfort is the key to longevity, and good forage nutrition is the key to milk production. In our short 5 yr career as dairy farmers, we know that the BEST care that we can give our cows is the MOST important thing that we can do!

    Thanks for your questions, if you have more, please feel free to send them!


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!