DAIRY COWS: Frequently Asked Questions

We live in a digital age where people can get access to virtual tours of dairy farms via the internet if necessary. Dairy farms also often get visits from students learning Dairy Science & Technology, who submit a lot of questions regarding breeding and rearing of cows, how they are milked, and how the milk is scientifically processed for consumption. Though dairy farms are not very prevalent in Kerala, these questions and more have always been of interest to Keralites in general, as milk is one of our staples.

That said, this blog will cover a few important questions on dairy cows that people frequently ask.

Let’s get started.

1. Why aren’t all dairy cows black and white?

Though the question may sound simple, there still are a lot of people with a misconception that black & white breeds are the best dairy cows. There’s also the fact that a good majority of ads on dairy products and milk feature black & white cows. As for the question, there are many breeds of dairy cows. The ones you see on dairy farms depend on the farmers’ preferences.

2. How many babies can a dairy cow have?

Dairy cows can give birth once a year. And it’s usually one calf. There have been cases where dairy cows gave birth to twins. The dairy farms associated with Milco have reported only birth per year per cow.

3. Does milking hurt the cows?

Certainly not. Cows are milked by farmers while making sure they are safe and comfortable. Before milking, the cow’s udders are cleaned and sanitized. Some farmers use milkers and others do it manually with their hands which require expertise. Either process does not irritate the cow. As a matter of fact, some cows actually like their milking time.

4. Should cows be taken to a doctor when they are sick?

It’s actually the other way around. It’s more expensive to take the cows to the veterinarian. Instead the doctor visits the cow and treats it at the comfort of its barn. Dairy farms associated with Milco ensure periodic health checkups of all dairy cows to ensure they are healthy and devoid of any malnutrition or ailments.

5. How long does a dairy cow sleep?

Most dairy cows are given special, easy-to-clean bedding to sleep. And they spent generally 10-12 hours a day lying on this comfortable bedding. Some cows like waterbeds for relaxation.

There are even more questions about dairy cows and the milking process. But to keep things short and interesting, we will be covering this in our blog series another time.

Do check out our other blogs for more insights on Dairy Science, Technology & Fun Facts.

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