Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dinner at the Dairy - 11th of July 2014

(oh for those interested, Izaak has arrived safely much to the excitement of the girls especially Zara!)

Last Friday night we visited a dairy farm! The local dairy farms and Holstein Club organised a 'Dinner at the Dairy' night. One of the lovely ladies from the church let me know about it. You had to register but the event was free. We got a tour through the farm and dinner afterwards. There was also face painting, balloons, cheese samples, bouncy castle and oh some sheep! I really enjoyed getting to see how dairy farming works here. I was impressed on how efficient the whole operation was, from feeding (very scientific, ie the right mixture produces more milk!), to calving, breeding and milking. This particular farm had a milking parlor. The cows seemed very 'happy' and looked great to an untrained eye. Here is the night in photo form! (Sorry the photos are in random order, don't know why that is, don't want to spend time changing it around)

Grass is greener on the other side! haha
Izaak and the girls enjoying dinner!
Albert and Zara
oh I forgot to mention the balloon figures :)
WOW this is a surprise a red dog for Kate :)
and purple for Grace
Zara made sure I took a picture of her face
painting before bedtime! 
a hayride took us from our cars to the farm
Cool a tractor!
Look what I spotted? sheep!
Each cow wears a transponder and this
tracks the milk produced, their cycle etc. very impressive
Ok, what's in here? *
Grace helping with milking
couldn't resist 
Waiting to be milked
Milking parlor
All the calves get reared in these little 'sheds'
Hay shed
It's very scientific!
Can't remember exactly what this is, cow food?
One cow's daily ration
In here all the ingredients for the cow's daily ration get's mixed.
It is then driven through the barn with the tractor!
(Different cows at different stages get different foods)
*Semen. All the cows on this farm are artificially inseminated (AI). Again this is all very scientific as the farmer wants to breed the best it can. Genetics is a very big deal, knowing where the cow comes from etc. All the cows can be traced back in the genetene pool! AI makes all this possible. Hadn't thought about this before :).

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