A Day in the Life on a Michigan Dairy Farm
The average day on a dairy farm is quite complicated. So, believe me, I was just as surprised as some of you are about to be when I started working at a family farm. Most days I wish I were a cow. In order to ensure we are doing everything we can for our cattle there are certain steps taken every day. The care the cows get on the farm is remarkable. Keep in mind, these cows come first to our dairy farmers no matter the holiday, weather, or fun occasion that may be going on outside the farm. All of us workers are treated as family on the farm. With all of us having the same motives, it is easy to work together and ensure cow comfort and care.
We start work early in the morning to go feed calves and milk the cows. This gets done at the same time every day because our animals are on a schedule and we work very hard to keep them comfortable. After this, if there are any cows in the hospital pen, we tend to them and give them our utmost attention. Depending on their symptoms, we determine how to treat each cow. Then it is time to make sure the pens where our cows are giving birth are full of clean straw, ensuring our calves get a great start to life.
We then take a lunch if nothing expected comes up. Next, it is time to scrape barns. To scrape barns we use a skid steer with half a recycled tire attached to it. The tire is like a broom, and cleans the walkways for the cows. We do this to make sure the cattle are walking in clean areas. Starting at 3:30 it is time to milk the cows and then go over and feed calves once again. This wraps up our day.
Although this may seem simple it usually never goes so smoothly. We usually have a couple calves every day and both the cow and the calf need special care. There may also be something that quits working unexpectedly. Although these are all of the things I do on a regular day on the farm, there are other people working that have many different jobs. Someone has to feed our cattle and other people have to milk our cows. When it comes spring time and we are ready to plant, everyone’s jobs gets moved around and things get a lot busier on the farm with more people gone in the field.
On a farm, one day is rarely the same as the next, but every day we work to care for our cows the best we can, ensuring they are comfortable, have plenty of food, and a clean living area.
This post was written by Michigan Dairy Ambassador Riley Smith.