Today my parents and I went Christmas shopping, since I have the whole week off for fall break. When mom and I were in our last store of the day I looked down at my phone and realized it was 3:42! What’s the significance of that time? It takes an hour to get home from where we were and we usually begin milking at 4:30. So, I walked over to the dressing room, where mom was trying a sweater on, and told mom “hurry up, it’s 3:42, we’ve got to go!” The lady working the fitting room counter overheard this, and asked me if we’d been at the mall all day? Or why did we have to leave right then? I then responded, “we live about an hour away and we have a dairy farm.” She asked me how many cows we had, and I told her we milk about 50-60. She said so only part of those are females? I then explained that was only our milking herd and we have around 150 total head of cattle on the farm. She was so surprised that we had that many cows waiting to be milked.
She had a few other questions for me, when do they begin giving milk? Do they mind being milked? I told her that most cows have their first calf at the age of two and after calving they begin lactating. I explained that their gestation period is nine months like humans, and that the two months before they calve, is their vacation time. During those two months they go to a different pen where they are not milked and get to relax and eat all they want. To her second question I answered, no they actually seem to enjoy it, getting milked relieves them. Almost like when I person really needs to go to the bathroom, they feel so much better after they have gone. She told me thank you and get home to those cows.
I realized that I’m blessed to be able to share our story with random strangers and answer any questions they may have about our industry. I think that woman never expected that in her retail job, she would be talking about dairy cows, but it’s always good to mix it up a little bit.