Some of the most popular posts on Milk Maid Marian since the blog began shortly before little Alex was born in 2011 answer many of the most common questions I’m asked.
Q: What is the life of an Australian dairy cow like?
Cheeky Girl was born in July four years ago. She was conceived in the paddock after her 10-year-old mother’s courtship with one of our eight bulls. At two days old, she was brought to the warm young calf shed where, in a pen with one or two other newborns, she was protected from the devastating BJD and fed with enough vital colostrum to give her the best chance of a long life. After the 48 hour window for colostrum absorption had closed, she was offered ad-lib pellets and water to help her rumen develop.
Seven days later, after we were sure Cheeky Girl had learned to suckle strongly, she joined a group of 16 calves in this sheltered outdoor fox-proof enclosure guarded by our Maremmas, Charlie and Lola. Read more at The Life of the Dairy Cow
Q: Why are calves raised away from the herd?
We don’t leave calves with the herd because, if we did, many would die and I’ve discovered that, sadly, many do die on hobby farms in the district despite the best intention of their carers. Read more at Why we raise calves away from the herd
Q: Do you use antibiotics and growth hormones and could they get into the milk?
Why do we use antibiotics on our farm? Very simply, because despite everything we do to look after their well being, cows, just like people, sometimes fall ill and need antibiotics to get better. But couldn’t we do more to prevent illness and what do we do on farm to stop them getting into the milk? Read more at Mastitis, antibiotics and milk
Want to learn more about how milk processors check our milk? How our milk is tested for antibiotics
Worried about growth hormones? Don’t be, they’re illegal in Australian dairy cattle: Milk free from growth hormones
Q: Ethical milk: which brand to buy?
Concerned about hormones, food safety, a fair price for farmers? Check out this 15-second explanation: Ethical milk: which brand to buy?
Q: Tell me about UHT milk
Australians love fresh milk but what about UHT? Supermarkets around the world find it much more manageable than fresh milk and it may even be more environmentally friendly. Read more at No fresh milk for Australians: is UHT the next big thing? And you’d like to know what UHT really is? Find out at About UHT milk
There are lots, lots more questions to answer and, if you’d like to know more, please pop it into a comment below or use the search box on the home page to explore what we do here on the farm.