Animal welfare is one of the foundations on which we base our business ethics. The considerate manner in which we treat our cows means more to us than business practice - we believe this is the Right Thing to Do from a moral and ethical stance. We understand that a cow that is treated with due consideration for her health and welfare is a productive cow.
The temperature inside the sheds is approximately 10 degrees cooler than outside. Our cows are free to lie in the outdoor section; however, when it is hot, they prefer being under the roof.
Measuring & tracking the health of our animals
Our cows are gently milked on the milking table. Each cow is fitted with a tag and when the cow stands on the milking table, she is linked to the computer which then identifies exactly which of the over 1,700 cows milked three times a day she is.
A computer attached to a suction pump measures the volume of milk each cow produces. If the milk yield decreases, it is an indication that the cow is not well and she is flagged for attention.
Electric conductivity of the milk
The more white blood cells there are in a cow’s milk, the more conductive the milk is. A sharp increase indicates the possibility of mastitis which decreases milk production and renders her milk useless. All mastitis risks are treated immediately, mitigating potential milk losses and ensuring that mastitis-tinged milk does not enter the public domain.
Activity of the cow
If a cow is ill, her footsteps decrease significantly; if she is in heat, her footsteps increase by as much as 400%. A tag attached to the cow’s foot measures the number of steps each cow takes and feeds that information into the computer when she steps onto the milking table. The computer will detect any deviation from the norm (past 10 days) and flag the cow for attention if there is a significant deviation.
Weight of the cow
Each cow is weighed when she steps off the table. If her weight is out of spec, she is flagged for attention.