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Inside a Modern Dairy Cow Barn

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The Luxurious Life of Dairy Cows

Dairy cows today live a first class lifestyle. Thanks to the development of the modern dairy barn, cows enjoy many of the same amenities we do today.

Over the years, dairy farmers and animal researchers have developed the best way to house cows and give them the best comfort possible. Today’s modern dairy barn gives the cows a luxurious living experience.

Cows today live better than some people in the world. The cows enjoy many of the modern day comforts that many people in the world do not get to enjoy. They have a nutritionist balanced diet, medical aid and attention from veterinarians, clean available water, soft beds, a protective shelter, and even moderated temperatures to keep them comfortable.

Here are some of the main features inside the barns and how they make a difference:

The Bedding Area

dairy barn beds

The bedding area is the most important part of the barn. Many farms today use sand to fill the stalls because it’s soft and comfortable. It is actually like sleeping on the beach.

It’s important to keep the cows dry and clean. The beds (also called free stalls) help dairies accomplish that goal. Cleaner cows produce better quality milk and have much less infections from bacteria in the natural environment. These modern dairy barns have actually improved the quality of milk quite significantly over the years.

You can read about milk quality and how much farms have been improving milk quality over the years in my previous post

dairy barn bedding old style dairy barn

Freestalls as opposed to tie stalls in the old days. In a modern dairy barn, the cow can choose anywhere to sleep while in the old days, cows were often tied in the same stall. Interestingly though, you’ll often find her sleeping in the same freestall each day, or same area of the barn

The freestalls seem like a simple design, but a lot of research has gone into designing freestalls to get the proper size right for the cows. The stalls need to be spacious enough so the cow has enough room and doesn’t feel overcrowded. The inventive design points the cow forward so any manure will be dumped in the flush lane while keeping the bed clean.

Many dairies today use sand as bedding. Sand is one of the cleanest beddings you can use for cows. Sand is good at absorbing moisture and pulling it away from the cows udder. Because sand is inorganic, it does a good job at preventing bacterial growth. This is bad news for bacteria, but good news for cows. Sand is also super cool in the summer and who wouldn’t want to lay in it.

The Feed Lane

Feeding area in the barn

Because the feed lane is sheltered inside the barn, it’s protected from environmental influences and contamination. Extreme weather can make the feed bad pretty quickly, but in the barn the feed bunk is protected and dry.

It may seem like a simple feature, but the feed lane is also pretty important. How much feed a cow eats will influence how much milk a cow will give. And not eating enough can cause nutritional deficiencies. So it is important to make sure her feed tastes great all the time. If a cow’s feed is not to her liking (smells bad, is dirty, ect) she will refuse to eat as much. The barn enhances feed quality for the cows.

Water Troughs

Water in the barn

The most important nutrient for a cow is water. Remember that milk is 87% water. A single cow will drink at least 30 gallons of water each day. It’s important then to make sure water is freely and easily accessible to all the cows. You don’t want lines at the water cooler.

The Flush Lane

Flush lane in the barn

A lot of jokes are made of cow manure, but the saying is true- it happens. The flush lane allows dairy farmers to more easily clean the barn with minimal disturbance to the cows. Some dairies flush recycled water for a few minutes periodically to clean the lane. In areas where water is not as plentiful, the barn may be scraped instead to minimize water use.

Sustainable practices happen at most every dairy because the a cow’s waste is a tremendous resource – it is not wasted. The nutrients in the manure help grow more productive crops. Often the manure is dried or applied to surrounding farmland to be recycled as fertilizer for crop fields.

Ventilation

Ventilation in the barn

The barn is designed architecturally to promote good airflow and ventilation. The way the barn is designed allows for proper airflow to allow fresh air in the barn while expelling the old air. If you walk inside one of these barns, the first thing you notice is that it keeps temperature moderated and feeling fresh.

Curtains

Dairy barn curtains

The walls on the side of the barns have curtains that can be raised and lowered according to the weather. In the winter, the curtains block the icy cold wind and snow. They help moderate the temperature so the cows stay comfortable. Cows can be affected pretty greatly by weather.

In the winter time, cows can become subject to cold stress when temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When cows are stressed by the cold, their body’s maintenance requirements go up. Cows need to eat more feed to stay warm. Happy cows are cows that are not freezing to death.

Fans

Dairy barn fans

When the temperate climbs above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, cows can become subject to heat stress. Heat makes cows pretty stressed because they tend to eat less while expending more energy panting. You have to remember they are wearing leather coats.

The barn itself helps alleviate heat stress by providing shade, but many farms go the extra mile. Fans in the barn help move air thought the barn to cool the cows. Often some water will be sprayed in a mist to help cool the cows. When the fan blows, there is evaporative cooling that takes place. It’s really effective at reducing a cow’s temperature, and keeps them cool in the summer.

Lighting

Dairy barn lights

Lighting helps cows see for a longer period of time. When the days get shorter, lights become a real help to keep the cow’s day normal.

Let me know

Surprised by anything, or have more questions about the barns- let me know in the comments below

Oh btw, you can see picture of our cows lounging in the barns in my post 12 relatable cow moments

101 COMMENTS

  1. You there Dairy Guy?? My comments in response to this rather silly article you have writen are not shown. I have posted them several times. They are definately there, then when I check back a day or so later… they’re gone!! Are you deleting them Dairy Guy??

  2. You really have shown your true colours this time Dairy Guy!
    You are not impartial; you have a premeditated agenda, right? You want readers to ‘get your opinion’ and to achieve this will deny them the basic right to reply.
    Other blogs on the internet allow people to have their say and if OTHERS (not you) complain, comments can then be subject to mediation and possible censorship. Instead, you have appointed yourself judge-and-jury which is interesting and may suggest your site is self-serving and may not support the principle of freedom of speech.

    You have written a frivolous piece about the luxurious life dairy cows lead. You may argue that there is a degree of ‘fun’ in the style you have chosen to write in. I personally find your light-hearted approach to animal oppression offensive and strongly disagree with you. So I saw this as an opportunity to write my response in an equally ‘fun’ playfully way, mocking your article. My reply entitled “HOLIDAY CAMP OR CONCENTRATION CAMP?”was written in the style of a newspaper article that included a revealing interview with a dairy cow. I enjoyed writing it and think it made a number of very important points. It portrayed a very different way-of-life on a dairy farm to the fluffy one you did.

    You say my reply was not “respectable” but gave no reason for removing it. You certainly gave no one else the chance to give their opinion. Your censorship without principle sucks.

    Because of your bowdlerisation I will rewrite my reply, because I think there are important truths which need telling. Let’s see if it meets with your approval this time…

    You need to decide if this site is about freedom-of-speech or censorship; for people to have their say or for you to dictate what can be posted?

    • Your comment was not respectable, the title proves that enough. If you want to write dark fantasy pieces, keep them to yourself. If you want to converse about cows, the floor is yours. I understand you’re a smart guy and have a different viewpoint, but you don’t need to use big words to make fun of me – that’s just not cool bro.

      • So you have removed my comments AGAIN, even though I completely changed it so it didn’t poke fun at you and made no reference to you personally. You say my well founded description of Industrial Dairy Farming is ‘fantasy’ so delete it without giving others the opportunity to read it. Dictatorial behaviour?

  3. Saying “cows enjoy many of the modern day comforts that many people in the world do not get to enjoy” is offensive!
    The food cows consume could be used to feed starving people.
    Poor countries are exploited for their resources.
    Poor people are exploited as a labour resource.
    Animal farming is hugely damaging to the environment.
    Comparing the living conditions of cows to those of disadvantaged people, when animal farming unquestionably makes a direct contribution to their plight, is reprehensible; shame on you

    • I’m sorry you find this post offensive, but I don’t see how showing people the features of the cow barn could be offensive in any way. The above comments have nothing to do with this article. So do tell me again, why would a comfortable barn for cows be offensive?

      • You’re making out your cows have a better life than people do, poor people who don’t have food, water, shelter or sand to sleep on. It’s a crass comparison you make.

        • I think the real reason you’re angry is that reality doesn’t match your idea of reality. Cows do have a pretty good life on a farm, why be angry about that.. The sad truth is that cows do have a better life than a lot of people in the world. About 21,000 people die of hunger each day. Cows are not going hungry, plus they enjoy all the amenities that you get to enjoy as described in this post..

            • Um… yeah.. exactly cows produce food. Cows are really wondrous in this way because they take inedible plants that humans can’t eat and convert it to a food with all the essentials- protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, sugar. You can live on milk alone, try living on only grass.. Cows are feeding people

    • It’s just someone filming a big dairy – it’s still a family farm and the cows do look pretty happy.. There are big farms, small farms, medium farms, ect. Saying big farms is bad is an overgeneralization. It’s like saying fat people are bad and skinny people are good. There is not bad, just different. There may be some bad big farms, but there may be some bad small farms. Being that farms are run by people, there is always that variable. But I would say that the vast majority of people make good decisions. The cows will put those bad farmers out of business simply because healthy happy cows are the most productive cows. A bad farmer not taking good care of his cows cannot compete. It is interesting how life works

    • Fruit trees produce fruit to propagate their species, no other reason. Lettuce produces leave to grow itself, no other reason. Carrots grow their roots to amplify their growth, no other reason. ect, ect.

      • Bogus plant-eating comparison AGAIN Dairy Guy? (yawn) Not the first time you have trotted out this phoney line. Your attempt at distraction from the real horrors of the Industrial Mega Dairy, where sentient beings feel pain, loss, anxiety and fear just like we do, is blatant.
        Knowing that fruits evolved to be eaten, to spread their seeds, is pretty basic science. I am surprised you don’t know this. Like flowers evolved to be attractive to insects to aid pollination. Surely you are not denying evolution??

        • See how can you just assume that fruits evolved to be eaten, that is not science but just a scapegoat way to justify your belief system. It is anything but logical or scientifically based. Plants do have feelings and experience the same things as other conscious beings. Science is proving this point.

          • Evolution is not based on assumption; science is based on tested theory.
            Do you understand what a ‘sentient being’ even is? I can assure you it is not a cauliflower. Look it up… just look it up!!
            It is hard to have a sensible debate with someone who does not recognise scientific theory or understand how evolution works. It’s quite basic stuff but you seem to want to deny it. Why?

      • You lie! You deleted the most recent specifics I gave, remember? It’s no good deleting my views and comments and then saying I never gave any. Your rules of engagement suck

          • Again…

            When calves are born they are separated from their mothers so they cannot drink the milk their mother specifically made for them.

            Female calves are taken off with the other female cows to begin their life in captivity as a dairy cow, just like all the female cows before and after them.

            The male calves are of no use so get sold off for meat production; they are a by-product of the dairy industry.

            When calves are forcefully removed from their mothers they often cry for days due to the heartache and loss they feel.

            Female cows must be made pregnant in order to produce milk. They are held still while being artificially inseminated by the farmer which involves intrusive violation against the cows will.

            Dairy cows have to be made pregnant every year so they keep producing milk.

            Almost all the adult cow’s life is a routine of being hooked-up to a milking machine several times a day so gallon after gallon of milk can be extracted from them. Constant daily milking means continuous milk production which is unnatural but suits the dairy industry.

            Being constantly milked plus being forced to have a baby every year is a gruelling lifestyle and takes its toll on a dairy cow; they have a considerably shorter life expectancy as a consequence.

            When dairy cows stops producing milk they are no longer of any commercial value so are usually sold off for meat production.

            Cows are enslaved; they have absolutely no choice what is happening to them. They are possessions.

            Cows are thinking, feeling sentient beings who should be allowed to live out their lives the way nature intended; in a field with their friends and family.

    • I write a post about how the barn allows farms to give better care to cows and you say it doesn’t make sense. That is because you are not accepting reality. If you take all your comments and extract the word connotations and beliefs behind the words it basically boils down to a simple hatred for dairy farmers..

      • I am not referring to your silly article about the luxury life of a cow, but I suspect you know that.
        Sorry you are not feeling the love Dairy Guy but let me be clear, I do not hate dairy farmers! ‘Hate’ is a strong word. I believe time will judge factory-farms and slaughterhouses for what they really are…

        • ? what does that comment mean. You don’t hate dairy farmers but you want to attack me and say that farms have no right to exist. Just because we have different beliefs does not mean you have to force your beliefs onto others. That is how tyranny happens. We should all be able to love and respect each other and coexist..

          • I don’t want to attack you personally, just the practice of large-scale exploitation of animals.
            You clearly don’t understand the meaning of ‘exploitation’ or pretend not to. Animal farming is definitely exploiting animals.

      • I would say ‘prove it’. Show me some credible scientific evidence to support that claim?
        I suppose you think cows enjoy being artificially inseminated as well. Like ‘milking’, its violation and exploitation.
        In the wild their milk would dry up after weening. That’s the way it has evolved to work. That’s normal and natural behaviour, exactly the same as with humans and all other mammals. I’m afraid I’m referring to ‘evolution’ again which I know you’re not strong on.
        Forcing a cow to continually produce milk for years on end by constantly making them pregnant is not natural! It’s a man-made phenomenon that provides the cow no evolutionary advantage.

        • Does a carrot enjoy being eaten… Think about this for a second.. You are saying that man doesn’t have a right to milk a cow, but carrots evolved to be eaten by man. Where does this make sense or follow logically

          • More science I’m afraid:
            Cows, like all sentient beings, have feelings, a nervous system, a brain, instincts, reactions, emotions, moods and the ability to learn, to love and to belong. A cabbage, a banana or even a carrot does not! You need to brush up on your scientific arguments.
            It’s pretty poor to say “carrots have feelings” simply to justify acts of cruelty, violence and oppression against animals.

    • Eating the embryos of plants is also a strange habit, eating the roots of plants is questionable, eating tree babies is odd, driving a car is certainly not natural, drinking an artificially flavored carbonated beverage manufactured in a industrial factory is definitely a normal behavior, Those vegan foods that take ingredients and refine them into large concentrations then reconstitute them in different varying amounts and recombine them in order to simulate the taste and flavor of other foods (while being performed in an industrial mega factory run by corporations who want to profit off of the backs of humans) producing a substandard food product that they can charge huge amount for and trademark is pretty natural, watching people live out unrealistic life dramas with artificial effects in a movie theater is a questionable behaviour, Playing a virtual simulation called candy crush on a miniature portable electromagnetic device that pollutes the atmosphere with varying electromagnetic radiation is obviously natural. You get the point.

      • “If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty”
        …or
        “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian”
        …or
        “You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
        PAUL MCCARTNEY

          • …certainly not you 😉

            What exactly do you think the great John Lennon was referring to when he said “don’t hate what you don’t understand”, dairy farming? Lol

            Why don’t you post all the pro animal-farming quotes by John Lennon? I would absolutely love to read them… no, seriously, let’s see them?? …I didn’t think so

            Here are a few important quotes by great people who actually cared about animals…

            “There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.” ~ Charles Darwin

            “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages” ~ Thomas Edison

            “I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi

            • Hate often stems from a lack of understanding… You hate farmers, but if you would read my posts you would see how dairy farmers actually care for animals..

  4. You also deleted two other video clips I posted. Why? I guess you felt they portrayed the dairy industry in a way that didn’t support your narrative. More terribly bias censorship I suspect.
    One clip was about a massive MEGA DAIRY in China with 40,000 cows on it. It was impressively large.
    The other was a look at Californian mega dairies from the sky.
    It’s very hard to have a constructive discussion with someone who constantly blocks your comments without reason…

    • Yes, a dairy that size is impressively large, but with science and technology those cows are living better than any time in history. Just read my post above about the features of the dairy barn.

      • How can an animal being held captive be “living better” than one which is free? How can that possibly be true in principle if not in practice??
        From a caged animal in a zoo, to an elephant working the forests in Asia, to performing dolphins at Sea World, to factory farmed animals, none of them are free. Freedom… what does it mean to you Dairy Guy?
        How would you feel if someone who was convinced you were better off doing what they dictated, physically imposed their will upon you, imprisoned you and did what they wanted to you?

        • Here is a thought – Is anyone truly free in this world? We all want to claim we are free, but we realize we are all living in an interconnected web or relationships. We cannot exist as truly separate entities on our own void of other lifeforms. Are humans imprisoning bacteria in our stomachs? In a way yes, but humans and the bacteria share a mutually beneficial relationship. Likewise, humans and animals have shared these types of relationships though the ages. Is your dog living better because he shares a life with you, or would he be better out in the wild struggling against the elements..

          • Here is a better thought – bacteria evolved in our stomachs. Dogs evolved in the wild. Cows DID NOT evolve breast milk for humans to drink. I know you struggle with science theory but these are facts

            • Are you still not seeing the illogic of your points. You are enslaving the bacteria in your gut. Plants did not evolve leaves for you to eat, they are for photosynthesis. Plants did not evolve for humans to eat, they evolved in the wild but have been taken advantage of

          • A plant is not an animal. Animals and plants are not the same thing, they just aren’t. Plants are biologically different to animals; very different. Generally not comparable, particularly in the way you imply. I know you are really struggling to grasp this concept as you bring it up repeatedly. All mammals, including cows and humans, evolved breast milk to feed their young up to weening. That’s how it happened – over millions of years! A mother’s milk specifically contains everything THEIR biological babies needs to survive and grow. Cows NEVER EVER evolved milk for humans to drink. Humans learnt how to exploit cows around 9,000 odd years ago which is a really tiny amount of time in terms of our evolution. Your plant comparison is either a joke or spectacularly ignorant.

            • Plants exhibit all the same characteristics for life as you and me (feel pain, communicate, exhibit conscious intentions, ect), yet you say they are not living beings. You are only failing to understand the big picture, that all is life. Plants are a unique lifeform on this planet and just because they don’t look like mammals doesn’t mean they deserve less respect. Using your frame -Plants didn’t evolve for you to eat either.. so you should eat nothing.. because if you eat anything, you are abusing and murdering every lifeform.

            • Isn’t it interesting though that people were drinking milk 9,000 years ago and herding cows before people started farming and agriculture

          • I did not say plants were not ‘beings’ so once again you lie and make stuff! Plants are not sentient. Do you understand what this means? Plants do not exhibit the same characteristics as animals. They are different. Educate yourself as to the differences. Saying they are the same makes you look rather silly. Some plants did actually evolve to be eaten, to help spread their seeds. I know science is hard for you to understand

            • Charles Darwin says plants are sentient.. If some plants evolved to be eaten, did some animals evolve also to be eaten

          • So Dairy Guy, I was hoping you can help us non-farmers understand a bit more about how a dairy farm works. How come cows manage to keep producing milk for years on end? How is there spare milk if their calves drink it? What happens to calves after they are born? And I’ve always wondered what happens to dairy cows after they stop producing milk? Are the sent to a sanctuary or some other place to see out their days? Answering these questions would really help in understand how your farm works, thanks

          • Plants are not truly sentient…
            Though certain scientific studies have shown that plants can react to stimuli, these reactions do not point to sentience because they lack three basic qualifications for requiring sentience:
            • Sensory organs — Plants don’t have organs which enable them to see, hear, taste, etc. like animals do.
            • Variability of response — Animals have a conscious perception which acts as an intermediary between their environment and their many different behavioural responses to it. Plants lack this variability in that they will react in the same manner regardless of different scenarios (ex.: growing toward the sun).
            • Appetite and locomotion — Nature has enabled animals to be sentient because they have the ability to move around. Pain exists to teach sentient creatures what stimuli to avoid in the same way that pleasure exists to teach sentient creatures what stimuli to seek.
            Plants do not feel pain the way animals do because they have no reason for it. If a plant had the means to get up and walk away from an area that was too dry, wet or cold, it would make sense for nature to enable the plant to feel pain. Enabling a living organism to feel pain without the ability for that organism to alleviate that pain is not something done by nature unless by some sort of mutation (i.e.: a creature being born without limbs or with mental or physical disabilities).

          • Logical fallacy: Tu Quoque…
            A person who uses the “plants have feelings too” argument is guilty of using the Tu Quoque (You Yourself Do It) logical fallacy. This fallacy has to do with accusing your critic of being guilty of doing the same thing they accuse you of, even though the two situations being compared are not identical. For example:
            “If a vegan can kill plants, then I have the right to kill animals.”
            Plants are not sentient and comparing plant’s reactions to stimuli and animal’s proven sentience is not the same, and this renders the argument fallacious.
            Ignoring the fact that there are clear biological and ethical differences between killing a plant and killing an animal, even if there was hypothetically no difference between the two, it still would not change the fact that two wrongs don’t make a right.

      • Funnily enough YOU post LOADS of links to your own articles. It’s like your own opinions support… your own opinions!! It’s a completely one-sided “I make the rules up, so tough” approach to journalism. I just hope people who read your site recognise this fact.

  5. Now, I don’t want to interrupt the “discussion” going on here, but that is the cleanest dairy barn that I have ever seen. Nice work!

  6. Do your cows get to go outside? My husband’s grandfather owned a dairy in Iowa, he told me that the cows would go out to graze in the summer, they would come into the barn twice a day to get milked. They all knew what time it was and were happy to come inside, get milked, get supplemental feed, etc., and then his grandfather of course had to clean out the barn! 🙂

    Anyway, the farm I get my milk from, the cows are out on pasture for most of the year, during the day, but brought in at night.

    • Yes! We open the pasture each morning for the cows – it is their decision if they want to go out of the barn or not. And you’re right, they are very habitual, they don’t like it if you do things off schedule 😉 they will complain

  7. Thank you dairy guy for your insight into todays dairy farming. My dad was a cowman many years ago and I know how much he cared for the animals as he was always out looking after them. Hopefully today the farmer can spend a little more time with their family knowing the animals are cared for in a comfortable environment,
    I an now writing children’s books about farm life, as it was for me, and visiting schools to give the children a little insight to that way of life. it is good to learn the difference between now and then.

    • It sounds like you have some real rose-tinted glasses there Sandra. I didn’t grow up on an animal farm or factory but have invested a considerable amount of time learning about them and what their common everyday practices are. For example:
      * All dairy cows have to be made pregnant every year to keep their milk flowing. This involves restraining the cow while the farmer artificially impregnates her by hand. This is a distressing procedure for the cows as I am sure you can appreciate.
      * Male calves are surplus to requirement in the dairy industry. They are routinely destroyed at a very young age, often within days of birth. Considering there are around nine million dairy cows in the US alone, we are talking about 4.5m male calves needlessly bred and slaughtered a year! This is accepted as normal.
      * Calves are separated from their mothers at an extremely young age as their milk is intended for human consumption. This is hugely stressing for both as you can well imagine.
      * Dairy cows live massively shortened lives, around 4/5 years instead of the 20/25 years life span nature intended for them.
      * When a dairy cow’s milk yield diminishes, she is no longer of commercial value and destined for compassionless slaughter and hamburger mince.
      You say your dad cared for his cows. How much of what I have described, most of which is standard practice in the dairy industry, was he involved in? Do you have any childhood memories or understanding of any of this? Would you say the practices I have described demonstrate ‘caring’? Would learning your dad was involved in these standard practices change your perception of the dairy industry, or even your dad? I’m sure your dad is a good man, but dressing up routine animal cruelty as ‘caring’ may not be the facts.
      I cannot image that what really goes on in a dairy factory would make it into your children’s books, which is a shame as I strongly believe in educating children honestly. After all, they are the future and pretending to them that everything on an animal farm is fluffy and that the animals are willing participants is just not true.

  8. Thank you Badger for reminding me of what I already know. Yes, my dad was a good man, just like the majority of people who work with animals. Like I said, he spent more time with the cows than he did at home. I spent as much time as possible helping him, so please don’t assume you know me. Dairy farmers have great respect for the animals in their care and try to make life as comfortable as possible for them. Would you prefer them to be left out in the cold fending for themselves dying in agony from a fall, ailment or when giving birth to a calf that gets stuck. The same goes for sheep! Have you thought of what life would be like without any of these beautiful creatures? If nobody ate meat or drank milk there would be no farms so the animals would become extinct or at best live a miserable life without care or proper shelter. As for John Lennon, I think you will find he was referring to people as well as cows? Perhaps you would also like me to inform the 5 year olds who read my books how their peers are being beaten and murdered by people who should love and care for them. From what I have seen they would be better off in the cow shed.

    • Thank you for your positive note Sandra – in this age of comfort, many people forget the true realities of this world. Wishing you luck on your books, what a fun venture!

  9. Thank you Dairy guy, yes it is fun. I enjoy the research, which is how I came upon your site.
    I thought you might like to know the next book is called, ‘Molly moo the independent cow’. She has a name, gets milked, feel safe with the farmer and loves the farm she lives on. What more could a cow want?
    I hope that’s fluffy enough for Badger! lol
    Keep up your good work.

      • …is the wrong answer DG.
        Have another go… only please try to be honest this time, as I am genuinely interested to know whether a knowledgeable guy like you thinks this approach answers the very real concerns vegans, and others, have and therefore this may actually offer a way forward, to continue to farm milk, in a less cruel way.
        Saying the dairy industry is slaughter-free is a big fat lie I’m afraid DG, but I guess you already know that right?
        If you retire your milkers to live out their lives in full somewhere, please tell us all about it. The reality is dairy cows do end up in slaughterhouses at a young age, when they are no longer commercially viable, and often turned in to cheap meat, like burger mince. This is the predetermined and sad fate of millions of dairy cows. So, rather than wasting your time denying truth, how about having a proper discussion regarding a more ethical cruelty free approach to milk production – without mentioning profit?

        • How is it the wrong answer. You don’t kill cows for milk.. Milk cows live longer than beef cows and live a good life on the farm.

          • No you don’t kill cows for milk DG, but you do kill cows that you once milked, right?
            A trip to the slaughterhouse is the predetermined end of the lifecycle of a dairy cow, right?
            Their final journey, no doubt full of fear, ends in violent death. So yes, the dairy industry IS undeniably and directly responsible for the slaughter of millions of cows every single year.
            Stating “You don’t kill cows for milk” is a very silly thing for you to have said.
            For the sake of your credibility, I would urge you to at least be honest about the well known role slaughter plays in the dairy industry.

            Now a beef-only cow may live a shorter life than a dairy cow, by human design of course, but is it a worse life? Let’s see… beef cows are not put to work on a production-line, day after day, for years, the way a dairy cow is. They do not have to go through repeated forced pregnancies the way a dairy cow does. And in some cases beef-only cows even get to live out their very short lives in a green field munching on grass (because it enhances the meat’s flavour) not stuck in a barn the way a dairy cow is. On this evidence alone, I would say it’s pretty clear a dairy cow has a considerably worse life than a beef-only cow, no question.

            Despite having been exploited for their milk, most dairy cows end up as beef anyway.
            Dairy cows have not been selectively bred to produce quality beef cuts. Their meat is of a lesser quality and therefore often used as lower-grade burger mince where taste is less important. So, the truth is the dairy industry IS part of the meat industry, only these poor cows have four or five years of hard labour to endure before slaughter.

            • Lol your right both beef cows and dairy cows have good lives- dairy cows get milked yes, takes about 8-9 minutes of their life per milking. The machines are comfortable and the cows literally run to the milking parlor when they’re ready. Hardly grueling work. They spend 8 hours eating, 8 hours sleeping, and about 8 hours lounging around chewing their cud. The cows get pregnant but we give them time to rest between calves and they get vacation time. A bull doesn’t ask the cow, but breeds as soon as he sees an opportunity. A cow in the wild would have more calves than when she is on the farm. And i think the bull is not more kind or gentle than the farmer. Dairy cows enjoy grass too and they are not stuck in the barn, they go out at times. They really prefer the shade and shelter to the heat and rain. A dairy cow is not “lesser quality” they are just the long distance runners while the beef cows are the weight lifters. Different. Not better or worse. Differences are in everything. Visit a farm, check my facebook page

          • LMFAO DG… because yeah, those purposefully bred milk-producing machines trapped on your farm, which you have learnt to exploit so expertly, are having such a great time it must be like being on holiday for them! I bet you give them a pat on the tush and a belly rub for good measure right?
            I particularly like the way you describe fist-raping a cow as “kind and gentle”. That’s so sweet of you to care about their sexual experience like that. I guess you even share a cigarette afterwards, lol.
            Have you stopped denying slaughter is part of the dairy industry yet?
            How about answering my point that the dairy industry is, in fact a major part of the meat industry?
            You say “visit a farm”. There are hundreds of dairy and beef farms that treat animals in a most despicable way. This is well documented and many farms have in fact been prosecuted for their animal abuse. Would you suggest I visit one of these to see the happy animals you describe?
            You say “check out my facebook page” like it’s some legitimate reliable point-of-reference. I think you need to prove yourself more credible first (less lies and more honesty please) to be taken seriously. The beef and dairy industries are full of some truly horrible practices which you regrettably continue to defend

            • I don’t know what is wrong with visiting a farm, talking to the people, and checking out my facebook page to see some pictures. You need to get in reality and off the internet.

          • I’m on the internet because… you are, obviously.
            The reality is DG that animals are oppressed and routinely abused on farms. It’s well documented. Are you seriously suggesting that all the videos, testaments and lawsuits easily accessed online are made up? I urge you to tell the truth about how animals are treated on farm. Go on, I dare you. If you want to defend your farm that’s one thing, but don’t BS about the industry in general, it does not help your cause. People can easily check this stuff out.
            While you are at it perhaps you can explain what the ag-gag bill is, why it is so important to those who farm animal and what exactly they may be hiding?
            Now let’s have your reply about denying that slaughter is part of the dairy industry, like you did? Well? … ANSWER THE QUESTION DAIRY GUY

      • Which part of the Ahimsa dairy farm message do you think is ‘clever marketing’? Please explain…??

        Here’s what real ‘clever marketing’ looks like…

        * Spending huge amounts of money persuading people to drink three glasses of milk a day when clearly they don’t need to, by telling them it’s unhealthy not to

        * Cynically pumping large sums of money into schools sponsorship deals – after all, kids are the dairy customers of tomorrow

        * Paying big money to ‘A’ listers to say “milk is good” while posing with a white moustache – we all know most ‘A’ listers will do just about anything for a buck

        Now that is ‘clever marketing’ Dairy Guy and I assume you merrily contribute towards this process.
        Dairy consumption trends have been greatly influenced by these morally questionable campaigns and strategies over the decades, but you know the tide is turning as milk consumption in the States continues to fall and sales of plant-based milk alternatives rocket.

        People are voting with their feet and that’s why dairy farmers like you really should take new progressive concepts, like the Ahimsa dairy farm, seriously. I suspect you are secretly very worried, but you will continue to defend factory-farming methods, employed on mega-dairies, to the end.

        It would be great to have a proper, open, honest discussion with you about this, but I understand self-preservation, based largely on ‘denial’, is your best bet at the moment. Like you say, you’ve been dairy-farming for generations so I appreciate the stakes must be high for you

        • You’re gullible if you believe this marketing scheme. It will not work because its only an exponential numbers game. Say you have 500 cows on your farm. It cost $12/cow per day to feed, care for them, etc = $6000/day or $2.2M in a year. Your milk revenue is $14/cwt this year so you are already losing money 70lbs/cow= 127,000 cwts=$1.8M = losing 400k. Do the rest of the math -half your herd goes into retirement so now your milking 250 cows= 900k revenue 2.2 in costs losing 1.3M/yr. Or because you are selling milk and have build demand you need the same amount of milk. So you buy another 250 cows so revenue of 1.8- costs of 3.3= losing 1.5/ yr. In another few years, its 1.8 in revenue and 6.6 in costs= losing 4.8/year. In another few years its 1.8 in revenue and 13.2 in costs. These kinds of losses are not sustainable. So this company is selling to gullible people who will buy into this marketing. Show me the model how to make this sustainable and all dairy farms would do this but its not real world. You can take donations but you will not raise enough to fill the losses. I personally am in favor of food stamps for cows. Why should the burden of burden of feeding cows be on the farmer. And while we are at it, social security for cows would be great and a healthcare program too. I would ask you though how many cows are you currently supporting?

          • That’s a really interesting reply Dairy Guy and I genuinely appreciate your honesty; like I say, honesty is so important in this debate because millions of lives are at stake. And no, I’m not gullible… do read on…

            First, I said try not to mention “profit”, which was a little unfair of me because I know it is virtually impossible to defend modern-day dairy farming practices without doing so. I am not trying to trap you, merely highlight that it is, after all, ‘profit’ that makes the dairy business what it is today; largescale and mechanised. Animal compassion is very much a secondary consideration as your expert number-crunching highlights really well.

            Second, in saying “Show me the model how to make this sustainable and all dairy farms would do this…” you are essentially agreeing that there is a more desirable way to farm milk, but it is the financial sustainability which you doubt.
            I wholeheartedly agree with you on this; based on current levels of consumption and market prices, ‘ethical’ dairy farms, like Ahimsa, would be difficult to financially sustain. This particular farm may however make a sustainable living due to its ‘novelty-value’ and its captive audience who are clearly motivated to shop there. Supplying the World with dairy this way is a very different proposition and would be extremely difficult to do. Unless, of course, the goalposts move i.e. consumption goes down and prices go up. Then we have a business model which may not suit you and other largescale dairy farmers, but may prove sustainable and help see an end to routine animal abuse on dairy farms. I hope we can agree this is a worthy goal, on compassion grounds alone.

            I think it’s a little unfair and misguided of you to say people, who are trying to choose a less harmful way for farmed animals to exist, are gullible. People like me, and there are many, understand the choices and implications perfectly well and consequently choose a lifestyle that minimises animal exploitation.

            Not sure about your final point; questioning why the cost of cow feed, social security and healthcare should not be borne by the farmer. These are simply overheads, just the same as in any other profit-making business. Surely you build these costs into your sales price and pass them on to you customers.

            I couldn’t tell you how many cows I personally support but I do make a regular charitable donation to a sanctuary which looks after animals rescued from farms, including dairies. I also choose a lifestyle that means I am responsible for no animal exploitation whatsoever

            • Quite a long winded reply to say that you agree with me that the model is unrealistic. Pass the expense along, did you not get the expenses growing exponentially- I calculated it out, people would have to pay $12/gallon and this number would keep growing each month. How many people do you know that would pay that. You didn’t give me an answer on how its possible only agree with me that its unrealistic. I only mention $$ because its required to feed the cows. Unless your donating $5000/yr to a charity, you haven’t even supported 1 cow.

          • It’s all about the money with you Dairy Guy right? You see animals as a resource, there for you to exploit for cash, without a conscience. This is not a victimless business you are part of.
            …I did give you an answer regarding a more ethical approach to dairy farming; I said “…consumption goes down and prices go up”. It’s right there, in b&w… so please don’t pretend I didn’t answer your question. I said you wouldn’t like it

          • Erm, I think you brought up the cash DG, not me. I told you not to mention profits, remember? I knew you couldn’t do it because it’s what you’re about – you’re a dairy farmer! Cows are commodities to you and the milk you take from them merely dollar signs in your eyes. You don’t see what you do as exploitation of other beings; you see it as your right. How dare you

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