Cow Care FAQ

What will you be feeding the cows?

Our cows will only be fed on grass. That means pasture (which we are in the process of establishing as of June 2023 - it's not planting season yet!), grass hays, and alfalfa hay. Cattle also need a mineral supplement because they can’t get it all from pasture and hay. We will provide this supplement in its common form, a block! We won’t be using any additives or chemicals in their food and will source local, quality non-GMO hays. Occasionally, we may offer our cows treats like a carrot, cabbage leaf, or even some apple slices! Why should horses have all the fun?

How will the cows be housed?

The cows will be living outdoors on pasture (which we're waiting to plant as of June) year-round. We have shade for them in the summer and a lean-to to keep warm in the winter. When the pasture is more established, they will also get access to a nice standing brush for scritch-scratching. Drive by and you’ll probably see them just hanging out like happy cows do!

What about medications and vaccines?

Our cattle don’t get any prophylactic medications. We only use medications when it’s absolutely necessary. In our experience, the most common scenarios that call for medication are milk fever and mastitis. We use a calcium bolus for cows showing signs of milk fever. For persistent mastitis, cattle are given an antibiotic which changes depending on the bacteria causing the mastitis. The treated cow's milk is not bottled until the cow is fully recovered and any antibiotic hold is over. If the cow’s illness is beyond our capacity to treat, we'll have the vet visit and go with their treatment recommendations.

We don't use vaccines on our cows.

What do you do with the calves?

We separate calves around two hours after birth, but we bottle and feed them their mother’s colostrum. It’s the perfect calf food! The cows are always able to maintain line of sight with their calves and they have free access to walk and lay near the calf pen. The main reason we separate them is to keep the calves from drinking off the cows.​ Some cows will be fine with a calf feeding and then being milked by people, but in our experience, the majority of cows will kick during the entire milking process if they’ve had a calf on them for any more than a couple hours. Also, if we’re not the ones feeding the calf, we can’t be sure of how much it’s eating. So, in the interest of calf and employee safety, we do not allow calves to nurse directly off cattle.