FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
Q: Can we come visit the farm?
A: We welcome visitors!. See information about tours. There is also a hayride and guided farm tour each year as part of Celebrating Agriculture.
Q: Does chocolate milk come from brown cows?
A. No, it doesn't. Chocolate milk is regular milk that has had melted chocolate, chocolate syrup or chocolate milk mix added to it. Other ingredients like sweetener, vanilla or salt may also be in it.
Q: Where can I buy The Farmer's Cow milk?
A: You can buy it at Fairvue Farms at our self-serve store, or at many retailers - see a list.
Q: How often does the vet visit your farm?
A: The vet from Tufts Vet Clinic comes to the farm once a week to confirm pregnancies. This can be done about 45 days after insemination. He also checks on cows that have recently given birth, and examines any cows that may need attention.
Q: Do the cows get to leave the barn sometimes?
A: All cows being milked eat in their barns. When the cows are dried off 60 days prior to their due date, they are taken to pasture. There they graze on the green grass and get plenty of fresh air and exercise. They are brought back to the home farm 3 weeks prior to their due date. At that time, they receive feed in their barn, but do go out to an exercise field during the daylight hours.
Q: Are those veal calves in the hutches?
A: The white hutches you can see from the road are individual houses for female dairy calves. The hutches are turned to face south in the winter to keep them warmer, and face north in the summer so they can be cooler. The hutches provide shade and protect the calves from wind and rain .The hutches are bedded with sawdust, which stays dry under the roof.. The calves have free access to water and grain in their hutches. We keep them separated so that they do not touch each other, which could spread disease. The calves in the hutches are hand fed milk 2 times a day by bottle for 10 days and then by pail for an additional 6 weeks.
Q: How soon can a baby calf stand up?
A: Most baby calves can stand up about a half hour after they are born.
Q: How often does a cow have twins?
A: Cows have twins about 10% of the time on our farm.
Q: How much can milk can one cow produce?
A: Most of our cows produce about 10 gallons of milk per day, although some produce as much as 14 gallons a day. It is not unusual for a Holstein to produce about 25,000 lbs of milk per year. An average gallon of milk weighs 8.6 lbs, so that is 2907 gallons per year, since a cow produces milk for 305 out of 365 days each year.
Q: Do different kinds of cows produce different milk?
A: Yes, there are differences. Holstein milk is 3.5% butterfat. Milk from Jersey cows is higher in butterfat, - over 4%. Holsteins are the most common breed of dairy cows. About 80-90% of the milk we drink comes from Holsteins.
Q: How do you make sure you get girl cows?
A: Fairvue Farms currently uses sexed semen, which can result in about 90% female calves (vs. 50% if non-sexed semen was used.)
For definitions of dairy farming terms like colustrum and freshening, see our glossary.