Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dairy Adventure: Our trip to a modern dairy farm

We went on a Dairy Discovery at Swisslane Farms today!  Probably the best field trip the boys have ever been on.  Thanks so much to Janna for organizing it!

The first barn we went into was the main shelter for the milk cows.  This is the sight that greeted us.  Tipping cows!

Each cow's hooves are trimmed twice per year.  The guys come every Wednesday to take care of the cows hooves.  And with 1200 head on the farm, they have quite the job!

These ladies have just been milked and are heading back to their home.  The grate on the ground is a special cattle detractor.  The cows won't walk on it so they can keep the area open for machinery, etc, to get access to.  Annie, our tour guide, did tell us that a few years ago they had a "crazy" cow jump over the grate.  The cow no longer resides at Swisslane Farms.

Mama cow coming down the shoot from the milking parlor.

Joel was totally enthralled with every aspect of the farm.  The stuff on the ground is the cows' specially formulated food.

These cows are resting in a bed of sand.  The farm uses sand as bedding since it keeps the cows udders nice and clean.  A special machine comes through the center lane of the cows' area multiple times per day cleaning out all the yucky material that comes with having cows.

Our next stop was the barn with the heifer calves.  Super adorable!

They were quite curious.  Many peeked out of their stalls and were quite excited to see us.

Andrew, Noah, Stuart, Joel, Caleb and Kyle.

Noah feeding a baby calf some warm water.

Joel's calf sucked the bottle dry!

Next we went on a short hay ride across the road to see the cows' grocery store.  The farm has a truck with a computer on it that calculates how much of each ingredient to mix to make the cows' food.

Joel with his straw (not hay).

Frog with one of many tractors on the farm.

Milking parlor.  These cows just finished being milked and are getting ready to head home.  The cows are milked 3x per day.  The new set of cows walked it right after I took this pic and headed straight for their spots and backed into position.

This mama was a bit curious and came around the side to see what was going on.

Of course, we had to have a dairy snack, milk and cheese to round out the tour.

Gevin and Andrew.

A corn box to play in.

A straw maze.

Joel loved the corn box.

The tiniest kittens I've ever seen.

Part of our group~Noah, Caleb, Joel, Andrew, Tiana, Hadassah, Caleb, and Gevin.


  1. Thanks for posting this Heather! It's nice to have pictures to explain all the stories the kids have been telling me. :)

  2. I think all the kids had a great time!


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