My good friend Als (who does all the amazing illustrations), lives on a Dairy Farm in the Meon Valley. On the farm they have have 380 milking cows, 100 in calf heifers (pregnant) and around 100 calves.
Joke for the day!
Qu: What's the easiest way to count a herd of cattle?
Ans: Use a cowculator!
(supplied by Ali on Twitter!)
At what age do the cows start being milked?
Once a cow has had it's first calf it is ready to become a milking cow. They are usually about two years old.
How often are they milked a day?
The cows are milked twice a day through a “herringbone” milking parlour. Once at 5am in the morning and again at 4pm in the afternoon. They produce about 10-15 litres of milk each per day, which is the equivalent of 40-60 cups of milk!
What do cows eat?
The majority of British dairy cows eat grass during the summer and silage (preserved grass or maize) in the winter. This is usually supplemented with dry feeds such as cereals and protein feeds with added vitamins and minerals. Each dairy cow eats between 25 and 50kg of feed per day (the equivalent of 50-100 boxes of breakfast cereal) and needs a constant and regular supply of fresh water to drink.
How many months of the year will a cow be milked?
The cow will be milked for ten months and then have a two-month holiday!
When are most of the calves born?
At Al's farm, most of the calves are born between September and January. They usually have 60 to 70 calves born a month during this period.
Where do the cows live on the farm?
In the winter when it starts to get chilly, the cows are brought into the cowsheds where they will be warm and dry. They will be fed a diet of hay and silage, which is full of fibre. The fibre they are eating increases the butterfat content in their milk, making it really creamy.
As soon as spring arrives they will be put out onto the lush fields where they will stay until the winter sets in again.
Other interesting facts about cows!
- A cow will produce 6/8kg of cow poo a day!
- A cow needs to have a calf every 12 to 18 months to keep producing milk.
- Each cow has a number and passport.
- A cow will drink up to 200 litres of water per day.
Danish - Muuh
Finnish - Ammuu
French - Meuh
German - Muh
Hebrew - Go'eh
Italian - Mu!
Japanese - Mo (as in "mow" the grass)
Norwegian - Mo
Portuguese - Muuu
Swedish - Muu
Welsh – Baa