Skip to content

Tag: agriculture

When our cows feed isn’t safe

My farmer and I were milking one morning when we noticed that one of our first lactation heifers didn’t have much milk. As a healthy, young animal that had only been in the herd around 3 months this caught our attention. We assessed some of her other symptoms and assumed that she had swallowed hardware. The name is legit – she probably ate metal. Does my cow have Hardware Disease? Hardware disease (bovine traumatic reticuloperitonitis) in dairy cattle, and sometimes seen in beef cattle, when a sharp metallic object is swallowed.  Cattle do not sort their feed by using their…

Leave a Comment

It’s all bull

Let’s talk about the bull in the barnyard. We are a bull bred farm, meaning that we let a bull roam with the heifers and cows to breed them. It might seem like dairy cows are always getting knocked up but that just isn’t the case. Cattle naturally have a heat cycle every 21 days and the veterinarian tells us when they are healthy to become pregnant. Pregnancies last 9 months and then you have an adorable four legged love child. Knowing the correct terminology for the cattle is important, so let’s discuss names. Heifer – female that has not…

Leave a Comment

Farm details

A few facts about our small dairy farm 💗   What is the name of your farm?  Wren Dairy Farm.   Where is your farm located?  North-eastern part of lower Michigan.   When was your farm established? In October of 2008, during a difficult time for many dairies but starting out we didn’t really understand the impact of low milk prices.   What generation is your farm?  First generation.  Neither my husband nor I grew up on any type of farm, although he worked on a dairy farm for 6 years prior to our farm.   Do you sell your milk directly to the public? …

Leave a Comment

Welcome to the herd

There is always something new I am learning about farming, sometimes from my husband and sometimes from other dairy farms and research. Caring for a calf was definitely not something I grew up with; it’s a very important part of my life now and one of my main jobs on the farm, the growth of our herd depends on it and I’m always clicking on links to educate myself. A lot of thought and care goes into how we care for the animals on our farm, it’s like being the mom to a whole group of four month olds –…

Leave a Comment

When cows don’t get pregnant

As a dairy farm the success of our business depends on selling milk. Cows need to produce milk to secure a place in our barn. This is that line that as a farmer I hoover over; to one side I make business decisions because my livelihood depends on it, to the other side I let my heart fall in love with each of my cows and treat them as such. It can be a very real struggle to not consider these cows my pets. When all is good — a cow will calve, she will enter her natural heat cycle,…

Leave a Comment

Finding our common ground

Can three women in different areas of agriculture find common ground? I don’t want to be so wrapped up in my own branch of agriculture that I forget to acknowledge that there are other amazing people dedicating their life to feeding others. In this post I want you to meet my friends Chelsy and Jenny – both family farmers, mom’s, AgVocates, and great people. You will notice our products are different but that under the surface we also have a lot in common! The main things we share is that we blog about our life in farming and we have…

Leave a Comment

Don’t forget about small dairy

When we talked about starting our own dairy farm we never imagined milking 400 cows, we have always just had a different mindset. Often times I hear that if a business isn’t growing it’s dying, but there are other ways to “grow” than by increasing cow numbers. We currently milk 60 cows and that is definitely enough to keep my farmer and I busy, and I enjoy visiting bigger dairy farms and learning how they operate, but it just isn’t for me. A lot of farms around us milk more than we do so the question of whether or not we will grow…

Leave a Comment

Mornings in the parlor

On mornings I milk with my farmer I get coffee. He makes better coffee than I do. On mornings we milk together a little one usually joins us in the parlor; they sit, they watch, they help, and they listen. This morning it’s my middle one. Little features appear in the door way, a small smile spread across her face because she found her way to us…slightly underdressed but in boots. She borrows my hooded zip-up, and takes a seat on a bucket. Plans. Goals. To-do’s. Shoulda done differently. Some mornings there is silence. She sees damn near everything this…

Leave a Comment