Nutrition

Grass and Grain: Crafting the Optimal Diet (part 1)

 

Are you concerned about the grain content in the feed of the cows that produce the milk you purchase? We understand your concerns and want to take this opportunity to educate you about the benefits of a balanced diet for dairy cows.

Our Philosophy

At our farm, we prioritize the health and well-being of our cows. We understand that the quality of the milk is directly linked to the health of the cows that produce it. That’s why we’ve tailored our approach beyond mere production metrics and focus on animal welfare, sustainable farming practices, and community involvement.

Our custom blended ration, formulated with our veterinarian and a local feed mill, is carefully balanced to enhance CLA levels and optimize the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the end product. Our cows are fed a formulated grain mix at milking time to supplement their diet. Limiting the amount ensures that the primary source of their diet comes from grazing on grass pasture or munching quality grass hay, which supports overall health, reproductive performance, and the ability to maintain a good body condition.

We understand that some customers prefer milk from cows not fed grain. However, it’s important to note that eliminating grain from a cow’s diet entirely can actually be detrimental to their health and the quality of the milk they produce. A balanced diet is essential to ensure that cows receive all the necessary nutrients, including properly balanced fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Our custom blended ration is formulated with non-GMO ingredients, ensuring the cows receive the essential nutrients they need while maintaining a healthy balance.

We choose to be transparent about our practices because we believe it’s the right thing to do. We want you to feel confident in the products you purchase from us, knowing they come from a farm that values honesty, animal welfare, and sustainable farming practices. Our approach to feeding and care reflects our commitment to producing natural, high-quality dairy products in a way that respects both our animals and the environment. This dedication to transparency is what you can always expect from our farm.

We hope this information helps educate you about the benefits of a balanced diet for dairy cows. Everything we do reflects our commitment to transparency, animal welfare, and sustainable farming practices. We want you to feel confident in the products you purchase from us, knowing they come from a farm that values honesty, animal welfare, and sustainable farming practices.

Choose our milk, and you’ll discover the benefits of a balanced diet for dairy cows. Join us in our commitment to transparency, animal welfare, and sustainable farming practices.

Our Custom Blended Ration

Our commitment to cow health and high-quality milk production has led us to develop a custom blended ration, which includes all non-GMO ingredients:

  • Cracked Peas: A protein-rich component that supports milk production without the adverse effects of high-tannin feeds.
  • Cracked Barley and Corn: Providing essential energy while mindful of the grain’s impact on fatty acid profiles.
  • Safflower Seeds: Rich in linoleic acid, these seeds are key to enhancing CLA content in milk.
  • Molasses: Limited to 2%, this natural sweetener enhances palatability and provides an energy boost.
  • Mineral Mix: This supplement is added to our daily feed ration and ensures our cows receive all the necessary minerals and vitamins, supporting overall health and well-being.
  • High-Quality Grass Hay: A foundational diet element, ensuring high fiber intake for optimal rumen health and function.

What we leave out

Often, what you leave out can be as important as what you put in.  Choosing a dairy feed without soy is a deliberate decision rooted in our commitment to sustainable farming practices, animal well-being, and producing high-quality milk. Soy, while a common protein source in animal feeds, often raises concerns related to GMOs, allergenic proteins, and environmental impacts from its cultivation. Soy also contains phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in animals and humans. While the effects of dietary phytoestrogens are still a topic of research, we choose to err on the side of caution, especially since the feed we formulate serves not only our dairy cows but also our chickens and pigs.

Understanding that the journey of a dairy cow often transitions into the beef supply, we are dedicated to ensuring that every stage of our animals’ lives is managed with the utmost care for their health and the quality of the products they provide. By avoiding soy in our feed, we aim to eliminate potential phytoestrogen exposure across our livestock, ensuring that our eggs, pork, and ultimately, beef, are produced without these compounds.

This decision reflects our broader commitment to natural farming practices, and by excluding soy from our feed, we aim to address these concerns head-on.

Stay tuned for part 2 where we go in-depth on our fatty acid focus.

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