Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rest on the Dairy Farm

Who's resting on the dairy farm during spring time? It's not the dairy  farmer! Although  spring time harvesting and planting increase our workload and stress us to the max,   our pregnant  cows are resting and relaxing  in the last two months of their  pregnancy regardless of our  increased springtime  workload.

A cow will be pregnant for nine months   before giving birth.Two months before giving birth, a cow will be "turned dry" and moved from the milking herd to a pasture to rest and eat a special pregnancy diet to prepare for a healthy birth. Two weeks before the estimated birth, we bring our cows to the pasture next to our house so we can monitor them closely and provide assistance when necessary.

Last week when I was walking across the yard to feed baby calves, I noticed this expectant mama next to the fence. She looked pretty guilty--like she might have been nibbling on those iris! Even though watching our pregnant cows during this rest phase is part of our job, I find it to be a fun and entertaining part of our daily routine.

Rest during the dry period for dairy cows is important for the cow's health and to insure production of high-quality milk.  Providing high-quality milk begins with taking good care of our cows!

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