What Dairy Cows Need To Make Your Milk
Do you enjoy a big glass of milk with your breakfast, or maybe even on your breakfast if you are having cereal? Milk is delicious, and the best part is, it’s good for you, too. According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, dairy farms produce around 9 billion litres of milk yearly and employ roughly 50,000 people. Dairy is the fourth largest rural industry and it’s driven by a whopping 1.5 million dairy cows. That’s a lot of cows! The dairy industry rakes in an estimated $5 billion in revenue a year, and that’s a lot of milk!
So, what does it take to run a dairy farm? Probably the most important thing is water, you can’t make milk without water, the lovely white drink is 88% H2O. Cows drink about 5 litres of water per kg of milk they produce, so keeping them well supplied is critical to success. On most farms, water is pumped from nearby springs and rivers or out of wells. The machinery that accomplishes this is quite simple, and strangely enough, powered by water with a little tricky help from gravity. Even so, everything breaks down once in a while, which is why dairy farmers rely on hydraulic repair in Sydney to come to the rescue when things run dry! In many cases their expert hydraulic engineers can make a house call, getting things up and running quickly so the cows don’t stay thirsty for long!
The next important thing dairy cows need to do what they do is eat. Cows need to eat about 20 kilograms of nutritious food every day in order to produce the milk we drink. Australian dairy cattle primarily gain their sustenance by grazing on green pastures. Good old grass is their favourite and is considered to be the most cost-effective feed source for cows. It’s nutritious too, grasses are an excellent source of fibre that is easy for them to digest. Grass also has a positive effect on milk fat, part of what makes milk taste so delicious.
Depending on the seasons, sometimes grass is in short supply and needs to be supplemented by foods like alfalfa, clover, vetch, corn, and soybeans. All of these are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals that help the cows keep that precious milk flowing. So, next time you enjoy a glass of milk you will know what’s in there.