Did you know that dairy cows take annual holidays?!
Well they do and for important reasons too. This is often overlooked in arguments out there on the web from the anti-dairying groups and I think it’s really important that you know the facts about how your milk is produced.
Lacey on her holidays
It is usual on most dairy farms for cows to give birth to a calf every year. This is quite natural and is exactly what would happen if the animals were ‘wild’.
Dairy cows are milked for ten months and then have a 60 day ‘dry period’. The dry period is an important time of rest for the dairy cow. When they are dry, the cows are not called in for milking twice a day and simply enjoy a quiet time. They remain out at grass, or during inclement weather are brought indoors to live in deep-straw bedded yards.
During the two-month long dry period the udder rests and fresh udder tissue is generated ready for the next lactation. This break from milking also provides an opportunity to rid the udder of pathogens which may cause mastitis.
When cows get near to their due date, we move them to a maternity yard where they can have closer attention. They can be checked easily during the day and through the night. Cows will usually give birth without assistance but if the calf is breech they will need some help.
When you visit The Milk Shed you will see our dry cows grazing in the field to the left of the drive.