Our cows are the centerpoint of this farm. We work for them, and they work for us. Our cows graze on our pastures for half the year. The other half the year, they eat hay that we make ourselves. In addition to the dairy herd, we raise beef cows and pigs. There is more information on our herds, herd management practices, and processing below the animal bios.
ROSIE – #002
Milk Production: 17,388 pounds since August 2015 (that’s 4,830 gallons!)
Likes: corn meal treats, her babies
Oh Rosie, you stubborn beautiful brown swiss. At 6.5 years, Rosie was born on May 1, 2010 to Ruby (our oldest cow in the milking herd) and Motown (a bull not from Cricket Creek – Rosie is a product of artificial insemination). During the day she hangs with her half sister in the milking herd Ruth (a nursing calf). Soon she’ll be joined by her other half sister Reianna and granddaughter Rowan, both currently in the heifer herd. In addition to the 3 bulls and 1 heifer Rosie has given birth to, she’s been a dedicated mother to the 3 bull calves she’s been nursing over the past 5 months. Her current lactation cycle started in August of 2015 (over 500 days) and she has produced over 17,300 pounds of milk during that time.
Rosie has a pension for trouble. Once while she was a heifer, she took advantage of the electric fences being off and snuck down to the road to visit a bull. Nine months later she surprised the farm with her first calf no one was expecting.
PERSEPHONE – #313
Milk Production: 37.7 pounds a day (that’s 4.38 gallons!)
Likes: grass, sunny days, farmer Emily
Dislikes: the pigs
Persephone is one of our beautiful full brown swiss in the milking herd. She’s in her first lactation cycle, having calved a bull on May 11th of this year. At just over 3 years, Persephone was born on October 29, 2013 to Pegasus (a cow no longer with us, daughter of Polly) and Philly (a bull we raised, son of Paris who is still in our milking herd). During the day she hangs with her half sisters in the milking herd Posey, Shaka, and Lilith and her grandmother Paris. Soon she’ll be joined by her other half sisters Patsey, Forest and Philomena who are currently in the heifer herd. Topher would like to add she’s got a big attitude and gave him a head-butt last week.
Milk Production: 46 pounds a day (5.34 gallons)
Likes: head scratches
Dislikes: walking far distances
Shiloh is a full brown swiss, born on November 11, 2010 to Shirley (still in our milking herd) and Titanium (a bull not from Cricket Creek – Shiloh is also a product of artificial insemination). During the day she hangs with her daughters Shania and Springer. She’s also had 2 bull calfs, the last of which she hid by the stream after giving birth and Emily had to track him down (I’m told this is an act of protection and she was being a good mother). Shiloh is known by Toper and Emily as a “good cow” and is very friendly with people. Look for her during your next visit and she’ll probably let you give her a pat.
CLEMENTINE – #003
Milk Production: 35 pounds a day (4 gallons)
Likes: alone time
Dislikes: cow crowds
Clementine holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because she stands out due to her pace but I feel like I can relate to this cow. You will always find her taking her time when walking with the herd, she’s always at the back of the line. Topher and Emily say this is due to the social hierarchy of the herd (she falls at the bottom), but I like to think she’s pondering the more serious questions in life, and just can’t do that when theres other cows crowding her space. Either way, her slower speeds and stubbornness lead to many ill feelings about her by the farmers here.
Born on May 8, 2010 Clementine is 6.5 years old, daughter of Cambridge and Epic (an AI sire), she’s the first of our Jersey cows to be featured. Clementine has had five children – 2 bulls, Colette (the first of our heifers to be entirely raised on her mother and not a bottle, she’s also in the milking herd), Cantaloupe and Calliope (both in the heifer herd) and is due to have her 6th on June 18th. Clementine spends her days grazing with her sister Cashew and niece Coconut and will soon be joined by her other niece Caramel and her granddaughter Calypso.
Milk Production: 33.5 pounds a day (3.89 gallons)
Born on March 29, 2019 Paris is our 6th oldest cow in the milking herd at almost 8 years old. She is the daughter of Buddy PJ (a huge brown swiss) and TD. Paris has had five calves – three boys (one of which we raised as a Bull, Philly) and two girls who she nursed, Piper and Penza. Piper is currently in the milking herd on her first lactation. Penza is still in the heifer herd and will be joining her mom in the spring when she has her first calf. You can visit Paris’ granddaughter Pickle in the calf pin behind the silo. I don’t have much to say about Paris, as I haven’t had much interaction with her. Topher tells me this is true to her character, as she’s a well behaved cow that’s not overly affectionate, so she doesn’t tend to stand out. Although she is a very beautiful and well proportioned brown swiss.
Milk Production: 24.3 lbs a day (2.8 gallons)
Lillith, a full brown swiss, was born on September 10, 2013 making her just over 3 years old. She has had one calf, Leland, who is a young heifer. Unusually we don’t have a record on her father but her mother was Lady, who was our record holder for days in milk. Lillith is another under the radar cow – she’s quiet, a little skittish and usually goes unnoticed. However Emily says she’s the number 2 to Dragon, the current leader of the herd.
Milk Production: 33.9 lbs a day (3.94 gallons)
Penelope is a big, beautiful Brown Swiss born on September 2, 2011. She’s had two calves – one bull and one heifer (Patsy). Her mother Buddy PJ was a majestic animal and was tough as nails. You did not mess with Buddy PJ. Penelope has inherited much of her mom’s personality. She doesn’t like to be told what to do, and has no problem using her significant bulk to get what she wants. Lately, whenever we have to separate a cow for some reason – to investigate lameness, to dry off, etc…Penelope comes along, and generally makes things more difficult! When we don’t need her to do anything special, however, she behaves very well – she is very good in the milking parlor, and goes about her business just fine.
Penelope spends her days hanging with her sisters Paris, Pippa, Pricilla and her niece Piper. Soon she’ll be joined by her daughter Patsy (one of our friendliest cows), nieces Prism and Penze and grand niece Pickle who are all currently in the heifer herd.
Milk Production: 38 pounds a day (~4.5 gallons)
Fiona is one of our pure Jersey cows, a sweet cow generally, but in classic Jersey fashion can get extremely stubborn when ask to do anything out of her normal routine. She is six years old and has had four calves, including Fiona, a heifer who will have her first calf this spring. When she was younger, Fiona suffered from seasonal allergies and had the classic symptoms – runny nose, weepy eyes, etc. At first we thought it was a nasal infection and treated her daily with a concoction of yogurt and garlic. Over time, the issue has gone away, and she has had few other issues. She is a classic “good cow,” one we don’t notice much because she causes no problems!
Weight: around 600 pounds
Likes: baked goods, cheese, popcorn, leafy greens, whey, milk, etc.
Dislikes: getting out of bed
I love the pigs. I LOVE THE PIGS. But I don’t have to work with the pigs. They can be trouble makers and regularly are where they’re not supposed to be. I’ve seen them stop traffic, sneak around the barn to the whey tank, and go on unsupervised hikes to Field Farm. They have torn down their houses, broken through fences, and are well aquatinted with the interior of the neighbors chicken coop. Topher and Emily have different views on the pigs than me, but we all agree Ophelia is one of the best animals on the farm. The matriarch of Cricket Creek.
Ophelia was born in June of 2013 making her 5.5 years old. Born to Beatrice (our first sow), she is mostly heritage Tamworth with a little Berkshire Old Spot. She has given birth to 72 piglets over 5 litters! Portia was Ophelia’s daughter, and our other current sows Lady Macbeth and Gertrude are her granddaughters. Ophelia is a great mom, and despite her size, moves gracefully maneuvering around several 3lb wobbling and quick piglets, she’s attentive and gentle. She has never been aggressive towards humans, but is not the most excited to see you when she doesn’t feel like getting out of bed on cold winter days.
We have a mixed herd of mostly Brown Swiss and Jersey. Both of these breeds are known for good production and mostly importantly, good components (fat and protein) in the milk. Depending on the time of year, we milk between 20 and 30 cows. Every one of our cows has a name, a unique personality, and a special niche in the farm community. Our calves love visitors, so please pay them a visit when you come to the farm. They are in the back shed, past the silo. Our cows are milked twice daily – at 6:30am and 5pm. You are welcome to observe milking if you come during that time – we have windows from our farm store into the milking parlor.
The beef cows are all Hereford and Black Angus. They are excellent grazers, and are very hardy. Our beef cattle live outside all the time. In the summer they are rotationally grazed through pastures, and in the winter they live on our hay fields eating the forage we put up for them in the summer.
Our pigs are a mix of heritage breeds. We have three breeding sows: a mix of Tamworth and Hampshire. Our pigs eat mostly whey, which we have plenty of as a by-product of our cheese making. We supplement the whey with vegetable scraps and spent grain from local breweries. Our pigs live on pasture where they are rotated throughout the warm months in a wagon-wheel configuration. In this setting, they can root around, eat bugs and grass, and enjoy the sunshine.
All of our beef cows and pigs are slaughtered and butchered at Eagle Bridge Custom Meat & Smokehouse, in Eagle Bridge, NY. We choose to take our animals to Eagle Bridge because they place paramount importance on animal care and high quality meat. They are Animal Welfare Approved, and slaughter in the most humane manner possible. They take good care of our animals up until the last moments of their life, and treat the meat with respect as they cut it up. We are pleased to partner with them!