Our black & white ladies are all Holstein-Friesians, an authentic Dutch breed. All 600 live happily together in a cubical shed. They walk around freely and when they are tired, they can choose a comfortable bed to take a nap or digest their last meal.
Inside or outside?
From the middle of April until medio October you will find the ladies out in the meadows. During the Winter months, they are more comfortable in the shed. In the shed they eat silage grass, Corn, brewer’s grain, pressed pulp, vitamins, minerals and approximately 5kg. of concentrates. It is a sight to behold, when the cows make their way back to the fields in Spring. Witnessing what is known as the “Cow Dance” is an annual event on our farm. You are welcome to come and watch them running and jumping for joy after months in the stalls.
Every cow wears an ankle bracelet with a blue sender. With this, we record the amount of litres milk they produce and the number steps they take. When these figures deviate from the norm, we check if they are sick or ready to mate. Every cow also receives an individually adjusted portion of dry food daily.
Our cows are milked twice a day, once early in the morning and again at half past two in the afternoon. Milking takes place in the 24-Stand Rotary Parlour, where 24 Cows are milked simultaneously. Tip: From the top of the parlour you have a good overview of the whole operation.
Calves, Our Future
Because we keep our cows for their milk, each cow has a calf every year. The bull-calves leave the farm after two weeks. The females, known as chaste calves, are our future. They give birth to new life after 2 years and go on to produce milk.
When they are 10 months old, these chaste calves are taken to a special rearing farm where they can safely grow into pinks (yearlings). Once they are of age, they will mate and become heifers. Just before they give birth, they return to our farm.