You might wonder where cows sleep on a modern dairy farm (you might have heard them called factory farms too).
On our dairy farm cows sleep in various places.
Some of our cows sleep in freestall barns:
The stalls are cleaned daily, leveled several times a week and new bedding added every 2 weeks. Here is a bit more about making the cow beds. The cows who sleep in these barns also have access to outside corrals in the appropriate weather.
Some of our cows and younger heifers sleep in corrals:
Our pregnant cows who will be having their baby calves any day sleep on a bedded pack:
The maternity pen for the expectant cows is cleaned every day however we have to completly change the bedding several times a year. First we remove all the old bedding, then add a little sand to cover the dirt and last we add several inches of almond shells.
We also have some animals who sleep in the pasture:
On our farm we use eartags to give each animal an unique identifier that allows us to keep important health records for each animal. Here are a few pictures that show the tags up close.
The tags are applied in a similar fashion to earrings through a soft portion of the ear. Each tag is self contained and is clean and sterile.
The information of the tags includes our farm brand (starting at the very top of the biggest tag), next is the unique “840” number assigned to only this animal in the United States, followed by the unique number for our farm, in this case 2129. The small white tag has the same numbers and also id an EID tag that contains an RFID information. We currently do not utilize the RFID tag outside of visual use however are we will be implementing the electronic reading in the future to help with efficiency and to eliminate human error.
Here is a cow picture for Wordless Wednesday.
These cows were just moved into this pasture yesterday and are relaxing in the grass. With all the late rains we had here in the Central Valley and now the heat the grass is growing very quickly in the pasture. these cows need to get up and get to work eating it down!
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Today I’m doing maintenance work on one of the major pieces in our cow comfort system the soakers that help keep the cows cool during the summer.
Here is a picture of the cows enjoying the cool shower just like kids playing in the sprinkler do during the summer.
The soakers come turn on to soak the cows and then are off for a period of time to allow the water to evaporate and creating evaporative cooling. This type of cooling is the same cooling feeling you get right after getting out of a swimming pool on a hot day. We locate the soakers over the cows food so they are more comfortable while eating and their food intake stay’s up during hot days when they need the energy.
This controller uses the temperature at the cow level to adjust the on and off times so the optimum cooling of the cows is maintained.
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Many times we get asked the question “What do you do with all the poop from the cows?”.
The pictures below are a visual of how we turn what many think of as waste into a nutrient for our crops in our quest to be a sustainable and friendly to the environment dairy farm.
Here is a look into what goes into providing the cows on our farm clean soft comfortable beds to lie in. The pictures are from start to finish and show how we take solid manure sterilize and dry it, with a process similar to composting, the finished product is essentially soil we then use for bedding. On our farm we use 95% of the solid manure from the cows as bedding as an effort to recycle all we can and leave a minimal environmental footprint.
When cows injure themselves we use this tank to help them recover. The water allows the cow to float and stand without having to support her own weight.
NO the answer is to hold animal abusers accountable for their actions and honor those who do the right thing by the animals.
National Dairy FARM is a program created by dairy farmers to set a baseline for animal care and move forward from there, our farm along with many others in the US have embraced this program to help weed out the bad actors.
This afternoon I learned of another undercover video of animal abuse in agriculture and quite honestly I feel let down by fell animal caretakers. I am as horrified as ever that some of the things caught on tape are even happening in agriculture today. There are proper means to euthanize animals to end their suffering, using a hand tool to prolong that suffering is not proper or ethical.
Many farmers like myself and my family spend long hours caring for our animals the proper way only to have one bad actor ruin it for thousands. I personally have given up sleep and meals to make sure the cows came first I know farmers who brave some of the worst weather know to mankind to rescue animals and the thanks we get from another caretaker of animals is a slap in the face. I hope anyone found guilty of any wrongdoing faces the maximum punishment possible.
This is a short post because the more I think about what to write the angrier I get about the whole situation you can read some of my previous thought on animal abuse in some previous posts:Different undercover footage same reaction from me: Outrage
Ray-Lin Dairy Is going Vegan the Answer to Animal Abuse?
Haley Farms No Mercy For Animal Abuse
Agriculture Proud Quality Food Begins With Quality Animal Care
Agriculture Proud Video – Ranchers Care About Animal Welfare
Cause Matters The Tears I’ve Shed…. Animal Abuse
Crystal Cattle Animal Abuse in Agriculture
Dairy Innovation Animal abuse: Still a Big No No!
Zweber Farms Video:Calf Care on Zweber Farms December 2010
Zweber Family Farm News Calf and Animal Care is our Number One!
Orange Patch Dairy Too mad to go to bed!
killrocfarms Animal abuse: Never acceptable
Pinke Post Link Up Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Despite Animal Abuse Headlines
Life as an Iowa Farmwife Animal Abuse, Undercover Videos, and Doing the Right Thing
From the Tractor Seat Animal Abuse
The Ole Cowmilkers Random Thoughts Animal Care
Buzzard’s Beat No Excuse
ag – a colorful adventure Hold People to A Higher Standard
Reflections from a Country Boy We Care For Our Livestock!
Loos Tales Interview with the owner of E6 Ranch
Slow Money Farm – Life, Farm, Food Double Standards and Bad Days
Around the Farm Blog Fighting moral fire with moral fire
My View Quality Animal Care
Maricle Minute: Family, Food, & Farm Atrocious!
Jersey [Cow] Girl And So It Goes
Dairy Devotion Why am I doing this?
Pearl Snap’s Ponderings Animal Abuse Unacceptable
Topwinds Dairy Animal Care is Priority
Purple Poke Animal Abuse – Simply Unacceptable
Food For Thought – The Blog Enraged: Animal Abuse Video
Beef Daily Blog A Rancher’s Letter To You About Animal Abuse
Wag’N Tales Safe at home
A Farm Girl’s Perspective Do those shooting animal abuse videos really have mercy for the animals?
FarmersWife30 Heartbreak and Anger
Loos Tales Nathan Runkle founder Mercy for Animals on E6 Ranch
The Frolicking Farmgirl No Excuse for Animal Abuse
Haley Farms Why Animal Abuse?
Cow Spots and Tales 100% NOT okay
Northview Dairy And the Badly Ugly
A Dairy Goddess’ Blog Spring, Harvest, Calves And Cheese: A Few Of Dairy Goddesses Favorite Things
Today is a special day in our house according to my dear daughter as she keeps telling me it is because it is her 8th birthday. I tried to convince her it is special because it is the Chinese New Year Day, I must not be very convincing though. There is a special breakfast being made by mom and dad to be eaten on a special plate, then for lunch a surprise will be delivered by her mom and I.
*Our kids nicknames are Big B and Little B some how they both ended up with names that start with B so Brsyon and Brielle quickly came to have these special nicknames.