Feb 4, 2019

The Dairy Farm

2/04/2019 — cori

For some miraculous reason, we now live where you can get milk delivered to you. Yes...as in the milkman brings bottles of milk to your door every week. I think we just won the lottery! We had used another company for the first year we lived here. But were unsure as to the treatment of the cows, whether it was humane or not. But since then, we've been alerted to a more local company. After trying a sample of their milk, Chuck was hooked (sadly, I don't drink milk due to lactose intolerance). They informed us that they love to give tours of their dairy farm. So we took them up on their offer.

We thought the kids would jump at the chance to go on a family field trip to a dairy farm (said tongue-in-cheek). For some reason they preferred sleeping in to being active participants with their fun-loving parents down on the farm. Anyways...we won. Chuck and I had a blast and kept texting the kids telling them as much. I mean, look at the Dairy-Go-Round! How cool is that?! The whole apparatus actually moves around in a circle. The cows step onto it, a worker attaches the milking mechanism and the cows just ride around. Our tour guide said you can tell the cows are happy because they're chewing their cud and not mooing. She said they only moo when they are in pain, hurt, or giving birth. It was indeed very quiet.  

See that piece of fabric/plastic hanging to the left of the cow's head? Whenever their head touches that, the cow knows to back out of the dairy-go-round. The funny thing is, the tour guide said the cows can either walk back out of the barn or get back in line to go around again. There is a scanner hanging down over the cows' heads that is just outside of this picture. That scanner reads the chip in the cow's ear. So it will know that this cow was already milked and they won't attempt to milk it again. She said that the most they will let the cow ride the dairy-go-round is 4 times. Then a worker has to direct it away. But there were hardly any workers visible. These cows seemingly just know what to do. She said they get milked three times a day. Incredible! Who knew?!

At the same dairy farm lies the National Headquarters for Noosa yoghurt. All their yoghurt is made with this top of the line milk. Morning Fresh Farms actually decided to partner with Noosa over 10 years ago and it is a win/win for both the companies. Each cow produces 40 gallons of milk a day. And there are a lot of cows. The milk travels through very high tech equipment to the homogenization and pasteurization processes. It is usually delivered the same day. All the excess milk is diverted directly to the Noosa factory so there is no waste. The farm also grows all their own crops to feed the cows. It has been a family operation since 1894. I know, right?! We were impressed too.

Nearing the end of the walking tour, we got to pet a baby cow. I was surprised by how dirty (caked with mud) their skin was because they look so soft but obviously have had fun rolling in the dirt. I was also surprised by how much this little guy wanted his neck and chin rubbed. He was pushing so hard against me - it was hilarious. 

Here is our same little calf just basking in the neck massage Chuck is giving him. It may look like Chuck is pushing this little guy's head back, but he's not, the calf is directly him to the exact place he wants to be rubbed. Also, their tongues are very coarse like a cats. That was new to me as well. 

All in all it was a fun excursion on a gorgeous 60 degree day in February. Gotta love it!

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