Monday, August 30, 2010
Dairy Farming 101 - part 1...animal basics
bull - a male calf...will be referred to in this manner all his life (how boring!)
steer - a castrated bull...raised for beef
springer - a heifer or cow who is close to delivering her calf. Her udder "springs up", and fills with milk, an indication that she is close to delivery
1st calf heifer - a two year old heifer who has deliverd her 1st calf, and is integrated into the milking herd. Once she has her 2nd calf, she graduates to "cow"
fresh cow - a cow who has just delivered her calf
holstein - one of the most common breed of cows in this area...black and white in color...usually large, strong looking animals that yield large quantities of milk
breeder - the person who comes to the farm and artificially inseminates the cows...he/she works for a company who owns many bulls for the sole purpose of breeding cows. Some farmers still use their own bulls, but it's not the most common practice anymore. Bulls can be very dangerous, and by using a breeder, the gene pool is much more varied!
heat - call the breeder!
heat - oh yeah...that brutal stuff we had this summer...mid to high nineties, with high humidity!
settle - when a cow is confirmed pregant, we say she has "settled"
dry cow - exactly what it sounds like...when a cow is about two months from her due date, she enters a "dry" period, when we stop milking her in order to give her a rest before she delivers her calf
herdex - a chart where the farmer keeps track of all the cows...from breeding date to dry up date to fresh date
Stay tuned for Dairy Farming 101 - part 2................