Everyone knows that cows give us milk which makes all our favorite foods, like cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc. but did you know some of these fun facts about cows...
They are curious by nature. When something new is happening on the dairy, the cows are sure to gather around and check it out. Jersey cows, in particular, are mischievous in their curiosity and will lick and rattle on gates to the point of breaking them!
Cows drink 30-50 gallons of water per day, which is enough to fill a bathtub! Cows use that water to make milk; when the milk comes to our processing plant in Tempe we pull the water back out to make milk powder and dry ingredients. We are then able to utilize this 'cow water' in the boilers, essentially recycling the water that the cows drink.
Cows can eat over 100 lbs of food per day. Their diets are formulated by a cow nutritionist to meet their nutritional needs. All that feed makes lots of milk... and manure. Farmers are able to use the manure cows make as fertilizer on the crops that they eat.
The average cow chews at least 50 times per minute. Healthy and content cows chew their cud for about 8 hours a day. Farmers can tell if a cow is not feeling well if she is not chewing her cud.
The six most common breeds of dairy cows are Holsteins, Jerseys, Ayrshire, Guernseys, Brown Swiss, and the Milking Shorthorn.
Holsteins: Considered the high-performance athletes of the milking world. Holsteins are the most popular dairy breed worldwide.
Jerseys: The class clowns of the milking world. Jerseys are very curious and usually cause mischief on the dairy. Their milk produces the highest butterfat and protein which makes their milk great for making cheese.
Ayrshire: Ayrshires are red and white, but can also range from orange to dark brown. They are a rugged breed with desirable health traits.
Guernsey: Guernseys have milk that is high in beta-carotene, which gives it a golden color.
Brown Swiss: The biggest and strongest dairy breed, Brown Swiss are very resilient and can live in harsh weather conditions.
Milking Shorthorn: Milking Shorthorns are strong, durable, and fertile cattle that have influenced many different dairy breeds.
Cows are creatures of habit and enjoy routine. They will eat food from the same (or close) spot every day and will even moo if the farmer is running behind.