While our main focus at the Dairy is milk and all of the products we make, there are many other things that go on at our Farm. From the health and well being of our herd to growing feed and maintaining our fields, there are a lot of tasks going on in the background that most people do not think about when they drink milk or eat ice cream.
As with all pets and livestock, there are a number of tasks that have to be performed throughout the year to insure that our herd remains healthy and hardy. From required vaccinations to quarterly visits from the farrier to make sure their hooves are in tip-top shape, we do everything we can to keep our cows safe, happy and healthy.
Our herd grows each year with new babies that are born from Spring though late Summer. We have a special nursery section of the Dairy where calves are raised by hand until they are old enough to join the juveniles, and then the adults in the fields. Our cows are bred carefully to ensure that our new calves carry the A2 genome and will produce A2 milk when they are old enough.
Growing Feed Crops
Our cattle are mainly grass fed but we supplement their feed, particularly in the winter when grass is not readily available, with corn, grains and hay. All of the feed our Jerseys consume is planted, grown, and harvested by us in fields around Mills River. Starting in early Spring, we plow the fields in preparation for planting. After the plants start growing, we focus on keeping the fields watered and weed free, and at the end of the growing season, we harvest the feed and store it where we can access it easily when the weather gets bad. Keeping our cows fed is a year round job in itself!
Naturally there are a lot of other tasks around the Farm that keep us busy year round. Multiple grazing fields means lots of mowing to keep the grass low. The area where the cows are milked must be cleaned twice daily. The calves must be fed and their living areas cleaned and lined with fresh bedding materials. All of the milking and bottling areas and machinery must be cleaned and sanitized at least once daily. Hay must be mowed and bailed throughout the summer. Needless to say, there is plenty to do around the Dairy on a daily basis!