The little calf in question looked like it was all skin and bones. I would have liked to have said it was cute – after all, what baby animal isn’t cute? – but in reality, it looked so pathetic it made me nervous. This feeling must have stuck with me as I found myself this morning writing a blog post about skinny cows.
To reassure myself I ended up doing some research online. I Googled: skinny dairy calf vs beef calf – nothing about calf sizes, but a lot about feeding regimen. Why are dairy calves so skinny? – nothing about dairy calves, but a whole section on showing dairy cows (hair is buzzed off) vs showing ‘fluffy’ beef cows
(hair is combed to make them look puffy). Ultimately, I ended up discovering lots of interesting facts about feeding dairy cows, breeding them, their four intestines (they don’t actually have four stomachs), and statistics for how much
dairy we consume in the U.S. The only mention of skinny calves turned out to be an animal activist discussion of how taking calves away from the mothers too early effects their weight.
I’d like to be able to say that I walked away with a better understanding of how calves are weaned and why. But actually, after all my reading, I am more confused. I suppose this is why there are entire Ph.D programs for bovine husbandry.
On the other hand, some of the research I found really interesting and wanted to share with you. Given that it came from a local dairy site, well, it may have a slight bent to it. Even still, I particularly like the one about how much ice cream Oregonians eat.
COOL COW FACTS – courtesy of Umpqua Diary. (Find more here: http://www.umpquadairy.com/recipes-more/cool-cow-facts/)
- It used to take a person 1 hour to milk 6 cows by hand. Today, a person can milk 100 cows in an hour with modern machines.
- Before modern milk delivery, when people traveled and wanted milk, they had to take their cows with them.
- The main breeds of dairy cows are Holstein, Guernsey, Jersey, Brown Swiss and Ayrshire.
- There are about 11 million cows in America. They will make about 57.5 billion quarts of milk this year.
- It takes 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
- The milk mustache advertising campaign was launched in 1995.
- The natural yellow color of butter comes mainly from beta-carotene found in the grass the cows graze on.
- An average dairy cow weighs about 1,400 pounds.
- Milk is better for cooling your mouth after eating spicy food. Milk products contain casein, a protein that cleanses burning taste buds.
- There are approximately 340-350 squirts in a gallon of milk.
- Cows drink 35 gallons of water a day — the equivalent of a bathtub full of water.
- The milk bottle was invented in 1884. Plastic milk containers were introduced in 1964.
- Average U.S. cow produces 53 lb of milk per day, or 6.2 gallons.
- Consumer spending on dairy products is $74.6 billion dollars annually about 1.33% of personal income.
- 12.27 % of the food dollar is spent on dairy products.
- In 2003, Portland, Oregon bought more ice cream per person than any other U.S. city. Looks like everyone else has a lot of catching up.
- The ice cream cone’s invention is linked to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. An ice cream vendor reportedly didn’t have enough dishes to keep up with the demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor who rolled his waffles into cones.
Anyone else feel like a big bowl of Moose Lake Fudge?
What’s your favorite flavor of Ice Cream? Do you have any milking experience? I’d love to hear your stories. And to prove it I will be giving away a copy of my book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, to one lucky commenter in October.
Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)