Have you read our latest Flat Aggie series? Flat Aggie Adventures is a six month newsletter series geared towards a 3rd-5th grade reading level. Newsletter content meets both literacy and science Iowa Core Standards. Flat Aggie visits the different stages in the life-cycle of a dairy herd, along with talking about nutrition, and so much more!
Issue #1: Past, Present, and Future
Flat Aggie gives us a look into the past, present and future. The Lindsay Dairy LLC began the farm with a four stall parallel milking parlor. The average farmer in the 1950's could milk 100 cows in two-three hours. Today the Lindsay Dairy LLC milks 290 cows with a milking parlor that holds 16 cows at a time. Click on the link below to learn how technology has made dairy farming more efficient.
Issue #2: Reproduction
Did you know there are multiple breeds of dairy cattle? Flat Aggie is taking us on a tour of a Holstein (leading milk producer) dairy farm but just like breeds of dogs, breeds of cows are unique in size, shape, color and characteristics. Flat Aggie explains that similar to our family tree, a dairy cow or bull will pass on their traits to their calves. This is through a practice called heredity and we can study what traits the calf will have by examining the cow or bulls genetics. Flat Aggie breeds cows to be strong, high milk producing and docile (well behaved). Flat Aggie gave us and inside look into the technology she uses to help identify which cows are ready for breeding.
Issue #3: Calving
Dairy cows are mammals, which means they provide milk to their young and give birth to live babies. Flat Aggie guides us through how farmers care for the cow and calf. Learn about the differences in nutrition, housing, and identification.
Issue #4: Cow Nutrition
Dairy cows are ruminant mammals, meaning they have a complex digestive system consisting of four chambers in their stomach. Ruminant animals can turn grass and other plant materials into energy for fueling their bodies. Flat Aggie demonstrates how to mix feed with a TMR Mixer. Technology helps Flat Aggie know how many pounds of each feedstuff to add to the mixer. Keep reading to explore what a farmer feeds their cows to keep them healthy and happy.