About the Cows
"The herd of cows that live here at Echo Valley are, for now, all grass fed Jersey cows. I say for now because I have started cross breeding our Jersey girls with hardier dairy breeds such as Brown Swiss. Brown Swiss, Jersey crosses are my favorite because each breed lends it's characteristics of course, the Jersey yielding it's super rich and high fat milk and the Brown Swiss yielding it higher protein and sweet tasting milk combined with it's hardier physical disposition is more comfortable with the cold winters and hot summers providing the best of both worlds. All of the breeding here at Echo Valley Farm is by artificial insemination, there's several reasons for this,
- We don't have to deal with a dangerous bull!
- I can select the perfect genetics that will best match each cow.
- Artificial insemination allow me to select from only the best geneics yielding premium offspring.
- We have genetic diversification, no inbreeding...
- Did I mention NO dangerous bull?!...
I know what the cows are eating is very important to you or you wouldn't be here. As long as grass grows our cows will be grass fed. It's my opinion there's everything wrong with warehousing cows, cows are meant to graze and to be in the fresh air and wide open space, not cramped in a warehouse with 800 other cows, laying in each other's Ecoli poop soup with high velocity ventilation to suck out the stench and fed 90 pounds of corn and soy a day and pumped full of hormones to keep production up. Yuk!...
Our cows are rotated to fresh pasture twice a day, they leisurely graze on chemical free pastures, have nap when they decide and live a peaceful unhurried life, they're are offered free choice minerals from the salt flats of Utah and other premium supplements and minerals.
At milking we do feed a very small amount of grain, about 3 pounds, the cows know we have a symbolic relationship and contrary to what people might think cows are smart, if there isn't something in that bowl when they come in there will be no milking and they're serious about that.
A tiny bit of grain also give us the opportunity to top dress their feed with a few extra goodies like kelp to keep the cows in tip top shape.
When moms have a baby calf for the safety of the calf we put the calf up in the barn where baby can be safe from potential predators but once a day we let mom go in and love on her baby, nurse her baby and have some quiet time. That's always nice to watch. :-)
The Care We Provide for the Herd Includes:
24 Hour Pasture Grazing,
24 Hour pasture grazing (except at milking) on chemical free pastures!
No Herbicides, No Insecticides, and No Chemical Fertilizers!
In the winter time the cows have unlimited access to hay.
- Grooming, Homemade chemical free fly spray, Daily Brushing as well as proper udder management.
- The cows boarded here at our farm are fed Kelp, Himalayan Salts as well as a blend of organic human grade supplements for optimum health and nutrition. Happy, healthy cows really do give the best milk!
The cows are visited by the vet every year for a check up and of course if a problem arises the first thing we do is call the vet!
Although we go way out of our way to avoid using chemicals, medicines and antibiotics on the cows, if all else fails and in the very rare event it become medically nessecary to treat an animal with conventional medicine to save a cow's life or to keep it from suffering that's what we do.
Under NO circumstances is an animal allowed to suffer on our farm, Period.
If a cow is treated with a conventional medicine, the treated cow's milk is discarded for double to recommended withdraw time, for example if a cow is treated with a medication and the label or vet says to withdraw the milk for 2 days we always discard the milk for 4 days in a effort to make sure the medicine is clear of the cow's body.
We go to great lengths to explain our protocol to you as we understand what's in your milk is important or you wouldn't be here.
The cows are milked one at a time twice a day (except during dry off periods before calving), using a bucket milker.
What does this means to you?
Because we milk the cows one at a time we are able to give each cow individual attention. Each cow is looked over, brushed, sprayed for flies, udder and teats are washed until they're clean, sanitized once and milked.
How is using a bucket milker important to you?
It's very clean! Because a bucket milker is a closed in system it keeps your milk free of flies, dust and other yukie stuff.
After each milking the milker is broken down thoroughly cleaned and heat sanitized, insuring you the cleanest possible milk!