|Pen 1 (Cows who have had 1-2 calves) enjoys a tasty lunch in the new barn.|
On Monday we had our monthly DHIA test, where we learned how the cows have been adapting to their new home. It was awesome to see how well they are doing! In all honesty, the past couple months have been a trial for them. The old barn was over crowded, and the bedding was piling up. The freedom and space of the new barn, combined with the comfortable stalls and added feeding space has really paid off. Our #1 cow...Orange Patch Rockette...or you can just call her Rockette, produced a whopping 168 pounds of milk in one day (almost 20 gallons!)! She's definitely a rockstar in our eyes! Our #1 heifer (had just 1 calf so far) named Orange Patch Morty Blessing...or Blessing for short...produced an also impressive 120 pounds per day! Both of these cows, are like so many others in our herd, who are exceeding our expectations, and we are truly blessed with the opportunity to work with them.
On Tuesday we had herd health in the new barn. We used the headlocks (as seen in the picture above) to "lock" our cows, so our veterinarian could check them out. Using the headlocks proved to be an enjoyable experience for us humans, but more importantly for the cows! They really enjoyed being able to eat while we did their check ups, and even after we released them, the cows kept coming back for more attention. The good news is that we have another 18 cows and 4 heifers ready to have calves in September! We're really excited about that! The better news was the herd health took less time, but more importantly, was kinder and gentler on the cows! So cool!
Today, was another great experience....we enjoyed visiting with the area high school animal science class. The 21 students came to our farm this morning with a really good general base of knowledge about dairy farming, thanks to their awesome ag-teacher. With the knowledge they asked some great questions about the practices we use on our farm. I can't say enough good things about the importance of ag-education in high schools and the importance of teaching our teens where their food actually comes from! Overall this was one of the best, if not the best tour group of teens that we've ever had! Just awesome! =)