Rena, the Prancing Beautiful Momma

Rena didn’t love getting her feet trimmed, but now she can keep prancing like the queen she is! #dairynut #dairyfarmer #hooftrimming (at Watertown Holsteins)

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As a #dairy lady I don’t often wear shorts nowadays, but in the last 20 minutes of work I made an exception. The coveralls were just too hot! Now who wants to help build 9 more lil houses for calves? There are only about 200+ holes to be drilled and 200+ bolts, washers, and nuts with each! Farmers are jacks of all trades. #dairyfarmer #jackofalltrades #junedairymonth #getrdone

Drying up some cows! Vacas secas! Vacation time ladies! #holsteins #dairyfarmer

An average lactation, the time a cow is producing milk in a year’s time is about 305 days.  Dairy cows have a “vacation” every year that dairymen refer to as the dry period aka maternity leave.  This vacation usually averages about 60-75 days.  She is generally seven months pregnant when she is going on her dry period.  So this means that her body has slowed in milk production as she progressed in her pregnancy.  The last two months up till the cow has her baby is her vacation, and she won’t produce milk again until she has that baby.  In the photo above I have tubes stuck in my hat that seal her teats during her vacation, protecting them during the dry period.  The teat sealant is only put in to her teat canal, not up in to her udder.  Before I seal her teats she is milked and each teat is thoroughly disinfected using an alcohol swab.  It is also common for cows to be given a dry cow tube in each quarter of her udder as well.  Each cows has four quarters each with one teat, completing her one udder.  One dry cow tube is put in each quarter after the teat is cleaned with an alcohol swab.  The dry cows tubes are given to ward off or treat any existing infection.  Because she doesn’t milk during the dry period, her vacation, it is a great time to help her udder become healthier.  The purpose of the dry period and each of the dry cow protocols are done to benefit her udder health, and her health so ultimately she can come back to the milking herd healthy, and ready to produce wholesome, quality, delicious milk for you and me!

#Milk! 👍😎 #dairyfarmer (at Watertown Holsteins)

This is what part of our milking equipment looks like.  Each cows has four quarters, each with a teat completing her one udder.  The milker has four teat cups, one for each quarter.  When the teat cups are on her they feel much like a calf suckling on her teats.  The milk goes from the milker, into the bottom hose that connects to a stainless steel pipeline that carries the milk to a refrigerated cooler, called a bulk tank.  The top hose that looks like two hoses stuck together is the pulsation hose.  This pulsating function is such that while two teat cups are milking two release slightly and this motion goes back and forth till she is done.  The pulsation is what gently squeezes her teat.  So only two teats are gently squeezed, then two released, then two squeezed, then two released etc.