Monday, February 18, 2013

Shamrock Dairy Farm Tour

Normally, Don has a voice in whether or not he wants to go on a date I'm recommending but this time I dragged him along anyway.  He said "I've been on farms.  I've seen cows before"....but I insisted on the Shamrock Dairy Farm Tour that was scheduled this past Saturday.  I was right!  We both really enjoyed the tour, learned a LOT about the dairy industry, were very impressed with the Shamrock Farm, and  found the whole tour udderly fascinating.  (sorry....couldn't resist that one.)  

 
This family owned dairy farm has turned into a huge operation with over 40,000 cows (and 80 very happy bulls).  The growth and progress of the farm is a fascinating story of its own.  We enjoyed the photos and history displayed in their little museum.
 
A tram comfortably tours the farm just like a professional tour at Disneyland.


We saw where the feed is mixed.
 
Inventory has grown with the farm as they have over 1,000 vehicles in their operation.
 
Each cow is tagged so they can track how much milk she produces, how many calves, age, etc.
 
 
 
 
 
Milking 40,000 cows twice a day is quite a chore.  
 
We were really impressed with how clean everything is kept.  AND....the cows pick their alpha leader who guides them into their stalls.  I visualized "herding" the animals but they are truly creatures of habit and just wait their turn for their daily routine.
 
The automation was amazing to watch.  Those huge ceiling fans are misting mechanisms that keep the area cool during our hot summers.  Contented cows give more milk so their comfort is a priority.
 
The "udder" side of the cow is showered and bathed completely before milking and each cow gets wiped with a clean cloth.  The laundry facility washes 80,000 to 100,000 towels daily.
 

Watch this quick video of the bathing procedure.


 
 
On average, 27-30 calves are born every day!
 
 
 
 
After the tour, we met back up at the main office area for a hot dog lunch, a small bottle of milk, and some DELICIOUS  ice cream!
Be sure to sign up for the tour at the next opportunity.  It was certainly education, interesting, and FUN.  


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1 comment:

  1. We toured the dairy on our own a few years ago and were aLSO QUITE IMPRESSED. YOU SHOULD HAVE MENTIONED THAT THEY MILK 200 COWS AT ONE TIME AND THAT THE PENS ARE CLEANED OF MANURE AND ROTO-TILLED TWICE A DAY, EACH TIME THE COWS ARE MOVED IN TO BE MILKED.

    DEFINITELY AN IMPRESSIVE OPERATION!

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