Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dairy Barn

Here we have another view of the Dairy Barn, before heading indoors to see the herd. I am adding this to Tom's Barn Collective. Looking at the map of the property given to me upon entry, I realized after the fact that I had missed a couple of exhibition spaces in this building, in areas away from the cows. Oh well, there's always next time.


The herd consists of several different breeds. When they're all in here, they're in tie stalls. When the weather's warm enough, they spend their time out in pastures, only coming in for milking in the afternoons. The calves get first dibs on the milk from their mothers, and the rest of the milk is sold as part of the national supply. Calves are off in another section I'll show you tomorrow. Female calves end up joining the herd, while male calves will be sold to other farms after a certain age. On the odd winter day when it's mild enough, they get time outside while their stalls are cleaned and fresh straw is put down for them. And there's a technology involving a low electrical current that prompts them to step back to relieve themselves away from the straw. Workers come through replenishing their hay as needed, and water pipes feed into bowls between the stalls. There is even the sound of birds chattering away, and one sees them amid the pipes- though how they get inside the barn is another matter.


Panels on the walls and over the stalls detail milking, cow biology, breed types in this herd, how much they eat, and their summer pastures. One also makes note of the fact that a previous barn at this site went up in a fire. Each of the cows have names, marked above their stalls with their breed type.


A section of stalls nearby is set aside as a maternity ward. This is a Canadienne breed cow named Adele. She was lying quietly the first time I came by, and then having some hay when I came by afterwards. Her time for giving birth was coming up, and so she was placed down here and checked in on regularly by farm staffers. 

37 comments:

  1. That must have been a very interesting visit, and I can well imagine that children must really love going there.

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  2. Dairy cows always seem so wholesome.

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  3. I used to milk cows back in the day before milking machines. Obviously, I was very young but I remember how hard it was and how it pained my wrists. I also remember shooting milk from the teats into the mouths of waiting cats. Grandma had 15-20 cats roaming about the place. And once in a while I'd do it wrong and mama cow would kick over my milk pail in frustration which I found very frustrating. Thanks for the memories!

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  4. That was quite an education. Thanks William, great photos too.

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  5. I love ice cream as much as the next person. Cheese, yogurt, etc. and especially kefir. :)

    But seeing these cows penned up makes me realize how they should be wandering free in a field. I suppose it's easier this way, but...it doesn't feel right.

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  6. I always called them "the black-and-whites" and they are my favorites!

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  7. I love them! We passed a cow and calf, newly born, but didn't stop! Too much goop hanging out!
    Our deer are ruminants, too.
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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  8. A very interesting visit. Thanks for sharing.
    : )

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  9. @Rosemary: kids were fascinated.

    @Joe: they do.

    @Lowell: cats would know where the milk is.

    @Denise: thank you.

    @Francisco: thanks.

    @Sandi: if they're not out in pastures yet, they should be soon. Odds are they're getting time outdoors each day. I was more used to seeing the herd in pastures- I lived west of the farm for awhile and often came through and would see them.

    @Jeanie: and of course they're not all black and white.

    @Jennifer: it's a messy business, getting into the world.

    @Catarina: you're welcome.

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  10. The science of dairy farming is interesting.

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  11. It bothers me to see them tied like that. It would be nicer if they could at least wander around in the barn a bit.

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  12. Going through this area and what you see could qualify you for a good dairy farmer! Very informative.

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  13. It seems so counterintuitive that cows are vegetarians. Those are some interesting innards. I love the word ruminate.

    Janis
    GDP

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  14. I'm sure the cow in the third last shot is giving you the side eye William 😉 The alpacas last post are odd looking but strangely appealing also!

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  15. I like the fact that they all have names lol

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  16. Glad to read they get time outside. They are adorable:-)

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  17. The animals are taken care of very well. That's so good to notice.

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  18. @Marie: it is.

    @RedPat: well, they're outdoors a good part of the year, only coming in for milking time. I wonder if they're off tie at night in here.

    @Red: there is a lot to discover.

    @Janis: ruminate's a good word.

    @Grace: that's what I thought!

    @Jenn: and good names, too.

    @Tamago: they are indeed.

    @Marleen: my sense of it is that they're well looked after.

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  19. Very interesting. It's nice that you reported to us that the cows are well cared for.

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  20. A very interesting post ... but like many others who have commented, I too was pleased to read that the cows are well cared for.

    Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

    All the best Jan

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  21. Quite the operation. The animals are well cared for and that is fantastic. Thanks for sharing, William.

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  22. Beautiful and clean place for the dairy cows ~ great shots!

    Happy Week ahead to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  23. Interesting post again, William, I recognize a lot of the farm I visit a few times each year.

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  24. A lot more technology involved than I was aware of . Most interesting.

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  25. ...now that's quite a barn! Looks like a nice herd of Holsteins there. Thanks William for sharing!

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  26. I see many happy cows here in Marin!

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  27. I will enjoy this place. So much to learn about milking cows!

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  28. Cows in a field near our house are on their own when it's time to give birth though the calves are tagged soon afterwards so they are being watched.

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  29. What an interesting place to visit!
    Have a great week!

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  30. That's a beautiful modern dairy barn. Love it! And loved seeing the cows too.

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  31. i tend to only do milk in ice cream ... lately i have been doing almond milk. ( ;

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  32. Interesting exhibit! I've been trying to break the habit of mooing at cows! Now when I drive past them, I just say "Hello, cows. How are you today?"

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  33. they seem to be taken good care of . I like that :)

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  34. Very interesting. I'm happy to hear that cows feel comfortable.

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  35. Dairy farms have changed so much over the years....

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