rambles

Cows

This tag is associated with 18 posts

What Cows Eat Exposed


This is a recipe sheet to make Cow Food.

This is a recipe sheet to make Cow Food.

Here is one of the ration recipe sheets we get from our dairy’s nutritionist that we use to feed our cows for their dietary needs. This single shows just five of our seven different rations for the many different groups of cows we have. We group cows based on several factors such as milk production, pregnancy, and age to make sure they receive the most nutritive feed possible and remain healthy. This sheet is similar to those found on dairies everywhere and is not unique to just our dairy and as you can see corn is just one of the many things cows eat.

Cow Bling!


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New calves showing off their bling!

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.

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This is used to apply the tags similar to how ears are pierced for earrings

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.

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Each tag has 2 parts this is the male part

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Cow bling has a lot of information about the animal

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.

Curious about the camera, and showing the bling!

Lazy Summer Morning


Here is a cow picture for Wordless Wednesday.

Cows chilllin

A few of our cows enjoying the cool morning before a hot summer day here in Central California.

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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Cows play in sprinklers? Wordless Wednesday


This started out as a Wordless Wednesday however I decided to add some background information.

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.

Cow's on the sprinklers

Cows being cooled by the soaker system.

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.

Cow Shower

This little box is a great help to keep cows comfortable

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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What do you do with all that cow poop?


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.

Cows poop it's just part of nature.

Continue reading

Making the Cow Beds


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.

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With use the cows tend to mess up their beds, we keep trying to get them to make their beds but to no avail.

Cow Beds

The first thing we do is put down Hydrated Lime to dry out any wet spots, yes cows do occasionally wet the bed.

Cow beds.

Next we mix the Lime in with what we call the Freestall Groomer, we use this piece of equipment 3 times a week to re groom the beds.

Cow Beds

Here is what the beds look like after being groomed.

Changing Cow sheets.

The next piece of equipment adds more bedding to the stalls.

Cow Beds

This is the finished product a clean soft bed for the cows to lie in.

Compost

We use a process similar to composting to dry and sterilize the bedding prior to it's use.

Dairy farm with a view? – Wordless Wednesday


Our dairy is located to the west of Yosemite National Park in California’s Central Valley and on extremely clear days we get a great view of Half Dome that you can see in this picture.

Dairy view

Half Dome in Yosemite as seen from my families dairy farm

 

For a few more pictures of our family farm visit Pinke Post and why she would rather visit our farm than watch Oprah go Vegan for a Week.

What do cows eat?


The cattle on our dairy farm eat diets that are made specifically for them by a ruminant nutritionist. Here on the dairy we mix together individual ingredients to make a ration that is then fed to the cattle. In addition we do have some pasture to supplement the rations.

The ingredients are:

Dried Distillers Grain – this is the grain left from brewing and distilling spirits and is a good source of fat and protein.

Dried Distillers Grain (DDG)

Dried Distillers Grain

Almond Hulls – Outer protective skin when the Almond grows on the tree

Almond Hulls

Cotton Seed – the inner part of the cotton boll that is left after the cotton fiber is removed

Cotton Seed

Various silages – made from Corn Plants, and various small grain plants

Silage Bags

Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa Hay

Various minerals and vitamins

Rumen Buffer

We also include steamed flaked corn, water and some concentrated energy additives to make the ration.

Cow Food

To learn more about technical information on cattle rations please visit the blog of my great friend Jeff Fowle he is currently doing a series of posts on cattle nutrition.

Cow games – Follow the leader – Wordless Wednesday


Follow the leader

Here you can see how much our cows love to walk on the rubber mats that we have for them.

Taking requests


Wordless Wednesday is a blog concept where a picture is posted and words are not the focus of the posting. We have decided to join in on the WW fun and started last week with “Can I get a hand for an itch?”.

Do you have a picture you would like to see?

For this week and weeks to come please send in you requests for various piuctures from around the dairy and we will do our best to post them. If you have a request just leave a comment to this post.

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