Friday, October 15, 2010

We're Seasonal...

This was pregnancy check week at Meadow Creek. So how do you know if a cow is pregnant? We use ultrasound, a non-invasive and low stress method that also lets us see the heartbeat. We are happy to announce that we will have 21 first-time mommas next spring, along with our current milkers who will again give birth.

Pregnancy is a big deal on dairy farms; without it cows would not give milk. On both conventional and seasonal dairies, all cows get a 60-day rest, or dry period, before calving. However, on a conventional dairy a certain percentage of the cows are dry at any given time and the rest are at various stages of lactation. This results in milk that is virtually the same year round.

On a seasonal dairy like Meadow Creek, the milk changes with the season. This is due in large part to the fact that all cows are bred in the same short time frame and will all calve within a 60-day time period starting in March. And all are dry at the same time from late December until they calve. In the spring all our cows are in early lactation, giving milk with lower fat and protein, while in the fall they are all in late lactation, giving milk that is high in these milk solids. The result is a seasonally changing cheese, as you Grayson fans are well aware.

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