A Day in the Life of a Dairy Farmer

Imagine waking up one morning as a dairy farmer. What would your day be like?

5:00 am—Rise and shine!

  • Cows need to be milked, fed and looked after in order to remain healthy, highly productive animals.
  • Young calves (1-3 months old) are individually fed warm milk from their mothers.
  • Older calves are fed hay, grain and water.

9:00 am—Chores to be done!

  • Alleys in the barn are cleaned continuously by automatic scrapers while stalls are scraped and cleaned at least twice a day.
  • Farmers need to keep records of everything that happens on their farm such as what a cow eats, veterinarian visits, as well as other purchases and schedules.

12:00 Noon—Lunchtime followed by more chores

  • Most farms grow their own feed such as hay and grain, so there is much field work that needs to be done in-between milking times.

3:00 pm—Mix daily ration for the next day

  • Hay is mixed with grains, silage, protein supplements and vitamins and minerals to make a “total mixed ration” (TMR) for the cows.
  • This ration has all the nutrients that the cows need to produce high quality, nutritious milk.

5:00 pm—Cow milking and 2nd Feeding

  • Cows are milked in bright, well ventilated rooms called milking parlours.
  • Once in the parlour the milking equipment is sanitized and the farmer cleans the cow’s udders before gently placing the milking machine on the teats. It usually takes 5-8 minutes per cow.
  • Once the cow has been milked it returns to the barn to eat, walk around, socialize and rest.

9:00 pm—Bedtime

  • Calving cows need to observed and assisted as needed. Cows will give birth any time of the day, so some nights sleep can be interrupted!

A Day in the Life of a Dairy Farmer


Read more here.

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.