ABOUT THE FARM - AUKEMA DAIRY
Frequently Asked Questions
How much land do you have?
We have around 180 acres that we own and rent another 75 acres. We grow our own hay, haylage and corn and purchase in our grains.
Where are your babies raised?
Our calves(baby cow) are raised in individual pens called calf hutches, from birth to about 10 weeks of age, during this time they are fed their mothers milk and then a milk replacer(just like enfamil baby formula). At 10 weeks are calves are then moved into a group pen, called a super hutch for about 4 weeks, then moved into our calf/heifer barn(a cow is called a heifer until it gives birth). They stay in this barn until they are around 2 years of age, during the summer months they are on pasture and are rotationally grazed.(which is better for the environment)
When do they give milk?
All cows must have a calf, in order to give milk. Cows usually have thier first calf around 2 years of age. When they are getting ready to have a baby they are moved in to our dairy barn to join the rest of the milking herd.
What do they Eat?
The cows are fed a balanced diet which consists of corn, haylage(fermented grass), hay and grain. We mix it up in a big blender(we call it a mixer). When it is all mixed it is called the cows TMR(total mixed ration).
How do we keep our Cows Happy and Comfortable?
Our goal is to keep cows comfortable, happy cows and comfortable cows make more milk. All our cows are in individual stalls, so we can pay attention to them individually. All their stalls have rubber “cow mattresses” in them, yes they do sleep on mattresses just like us! During the warmer months we have ventilation fans that allow us to replace the air by forming a wind tunnel.
How Much Milk Does Your Cows Make?
Our cows average around 70 lbs of milk, per cow, per day, which is 8.14 gallons per day!
Are You Organic?
The short answer is no. According the the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA), conventionally produced food and organically produced food are equally safe. Both contain the same unique package of nutrients that make dairy products an important part of a healthy diet. They contain the same amount of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium. There are strict government standards that ensure conventionally produced milk is pure and safe. We treat our girls like our children and we want to be able to administer antibiotics if they are ill.
It is important to note that dairy cows are not routinely treated with antibiotics. If a cow develops an illness, a conventional dairy farmer will remove her from the milking herd, and treat her with FDA approved antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinary. She will not rejoin the milking herd until her milk is antibiotic free. Samples of her milk will be tested to ensure that all of the antibiotics are completely out of her system.
We do not feed any fancy feed additives or inject with hormones on the farm. We are an all natural farm operation.
How many Animals do you have?
The farm has a total of around 130 head of animals on it, 70 mature animals over 2 years of age and another 60 youngstock(under 2 years of age).
Is there some kind of “registration” to identify the cows?
All our cows are both maternally and paternally identified. These records are maintained by the Holstein Association, USA in Vermont. All our animals have pedigrees and we might have one the of the top 100 fanciest cows in NY.
Do the Cows have Names?
All our animals are given a name. Their name consists of the farm “prefix” Aukema-Dairy, then the fathers name, and finally we give them a name that starts with the mothers first letter of her name. ie: Aukema-Dairy Atlantic Apple
Are You A “Dairy Of Distinction”?
Yes, the dairy has received a “Dairy of Distinction” designation. Which means we have have met a certain judging criteria, and continue to meet it on a yearly basis. This is a great honor that few farms receive!