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Wisconsin

From Cow to Glass: How we bottle our milk

Our milk is super fresh. It all starts with our Sassy Cows. The cows are milked and that milk is brought over to our creamery where we bottle it. Learn more about that process in our new product video.

Summer on Our Farms

Summer is always a busy time on the farm. There’s hay to be made, events hosted, all on top of every day chores. Here are some pictures of what’s been going on at our dairies.

Sassy Cow Cow Friends
Our cows are enjoying the pasture life.
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We have new babies born everyday. This sweet girl is a Brown Swiss.
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With the recent warm weather, the corn has really grown!

 

Sassy Cow in new barn
Our dry cows at our organic farm are enjoying their new barn.
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Hay is made about three times per year on both farms. This cropped hay will become cow food for the upcoming year.
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This is the tractor we use to cut the hay.
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Some dry cows at our traditional dairy hang out in the shade on the first day of summer.

Interested in coming to visit? Contact Mara at 608-837-7766 or mara@sassycowcreamery.com.

 

12 Fun Cow Facts for June Dairy Month

Happy June Dairy Month! Around here, June is one of our favorite months because the weather starts getting nice, we host events and we get to celebrate a whole month devoted to dairy!

To kick off June Dairy Month, here are 12 fun cow facts you may not have known.

  1. Cows are social animals and naturally form herds. Within the herd they have friends as well as cows they avoid.
  2. Cows have one stomach with four digestive compartments: the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.
  3. The average cow drinks about 30 gallons of water per day.
  4. A cow’s heart beats between 60 and 70 beats per minute.
  5. An average dairy cow weighs about 1,200 pounds. But their weight and size will vary with breed.
  6. There are six main breeds of dairy cows: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn.
  7. Most dairy animals have their first calf when they are 2 years old; this is when they start producing milk.
  8. Just like people, cows are pregnant for 9 months.
  9. When a calf is born, it can weigh 80-120 pounds. The average Holstein calf is about 100 pounds at birth.
  10. Cows have a great sense of smell and can detect scent from roughly 6 miles away.
  11. The average cow will eat about 100 pounds of feed per day.
  12. Cows have 32 teeth, 8 incisors on the bottom front and then 6 molars on the top and bottom. Cows have no top front teeth.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more cow facts as the month of June progresses.

How we care for calves: Our traditional farm

Birth is one of the most exciting times on the dairy. It’s also one of the most critical. Like newborn human babies, calves are more susceptible to diseases, require first milk (colostrum) and need extra care. Each of our farms takes special precautions and care with all calves, from birth to weaning.

In this post we will discuss how the traditional farm cares for calves from birth until they are weaned. Jenny Baerwolf cares for all of the calves on the traditional farm.

What happens after a cow has the baby?

Jenny: After calving, the cow and calf stay in the newborn pen until the cow leaves to get milked.  The calf is then taken to the calf barn. In the winter, calves are placed immediately into the warming hut and in the summer they are taken to a clean, new pen in the calf barn.

Maternity pen
Our calves are born in the maternity pen. This is similar to the floor at a hospital where babies are born.

What are the babies fed?

Jenny: Each calf is given 1 gallon of its mother’s colostrum at birth. If mom doesn’t give a gallon we use a colostrum replacer. We then skip the next feeding. Our calves are fed milk replacer and are fed twice a day, at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., 365 days a year. They drink a 1/2 gallon of milk replacer at each meal and they always have clean, fresh water available. At 10 days of age I introduce grain, they are also trained to drink their milk out of a pail.

Another aspect to raising healthy calves is consistency, consistency. Cows are like big cats, they are creatures of habit. Calves like to be fed at the same time everyday, with the same amount of milk and at the same temperature of 104 degrees.

calf barn
This is our calf barn. The panels that separate the calves make it so calves aren’t in one big group but babies can still socialize with one another. Notice that these calves are wearing jackets. This picture was taken during winter time when calves need extra warmth.

How do you keep calves comfortable?

Jenny: I strongly believe having fresh, clean water available to my calves at ALL times is one of the secrets to raising strong, healthy calves. Also, we use lots of straw for bedding. The babies like to snuggle up in the straw and sleep. It is very important to keep the calf’s hair coat dry and clean. It keeps them insulated.

calf
This calf is snuggled into her straw. Straw is the best kind of bedding for calves because it keeps them dry and warm.

When are the calves weaned?

Jenny: Typically, I wean at 6 to 8 weeks of age. The calves are are moved to a group pen; we have three weaning pens. Their pen is a large open area with two feeders, a hayrack ( they get hay for the first time at weaning) and a water tank.

Calves are very demanding! They are born on our farm 24/7, 365 days a year, there are a lot of them and they very challenging to raise, but I LOVE THEM! They are the future of our farm, now who wouldn’t want to invest in that!

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This Brown Swiss calf is munching away on her calf grain, which is a mixture of corn, pelleted grains and molasses.

Stay tuned to learn about how we care for our calves on our organic farm.

Have questions about how our calves are raised? Feel free to contact us at 608-837-7766 or mara@sassycowcreamery.com.

Welcome to our new blog!

Welcome to the Sassy Cow Moos blog!

Our blog will feature the latest and greatest in Sassy Cow Creamery happenings and products. Blog posts will cover an array of topics ranging from recipes, farm life, products and creamery news.

Stop by and visit our blog once a week for fresh churned content! We will also be sharing our updated posts on our Facebook page. Do you have feedback about what you’d like us to blog about? Send suggestions to mara@sassycowcreamery.com.

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