Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dairy Farm Adventure

We were able to go tour the UIUC Dairy Farm last Saturday morning. I was excited to bring Jocelyn because she loves to make the sound of the cow and whenever we drive past the farm she would always point out the cows outside. It turns out that Jocelyn is scared of the cows and did not want to get close to one. She even got scared when we tired to take a picture of her with the cows in the background. I guess it would be scary for a little girl like her to see a cow. The cows are huge and weigh about 1500-2000 pounds! They are definitely a lot bigger up close! We got to see where and how the cows are milked, where they stored all the milk, what type of things are fed to the cows, the young calves, and some people even got to stick their hands into the cows stomach! We were not able to stay for the whole tour so we missed out on sticking our hands into their stomachs. It was a fun trip and although I gagged sometimes because of the stinky smell, it was worth going.

Jocelyn before the tour pointing at the tractor.

Bruce, our tour guide, explaining how the cows are milked three times a day.

The stalls the cows stand in while being milked and after they are done, the bar goes up and the cows walk out all by themselves.

Jacob and Jocelyn standing in front of the milking machines.

This is where the milk is stored at 38 degrees F. It is emptied about every two days.

Cows outside eating. I couldn't believe how big the cows are, and their utters looked painfully huge and swollen. Good thing they are milked three times a day!

We finally got a picture of Jacob holding Jocelyn in front of the cows. Jocelyn was really scared and nervous around the cows.

Me with the cows... this picture was taken to document that I was actually there.

I liked how pretty this cow looked.

Hay. One of the things in the cows diet. It is mainly a filler.

Alfalfa hay. This adds to the fiber content of the diet.

Cotton seeds. Also part of the cows' diet, but I forgot what nutrients it provides.

Soybean pellets. It adds protein into the cows' diet.

Corn meal. The corn has to be ground up because the cows can not digest the whole corn.

This is called corn silage. It is whole corn plants chopped up to pieces and fermented in bags. The smell was awful, I almost threw up.

A caterpillar we saw while we were walking.

I'm guessing that this is manure by the way it smelled.

A calf. They don't start milking until they are two years old and are usually 10 years old when they stop milking them.

Jocelyn and me with the calf. Jocelyn was still scared.

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