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 (updated Spring 2017)
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.
PERSEPHONE – #313
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.
SHILOH – #005
PARIS – #901
LILLITH – #311
PENELOPE – #107
FIONA – #006
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!