Our dairy farmers take exceptional care of the animals they are responsible for. The average farm in BC has between 120 and 130 milking cows.
Dairy cows are happiest when they are on a predictable schedule for feeding, milking and cleaning. Farmers make sure their cows have access to feed and water at all times. Cows are usually milked twice a day, twelve hours apart. Early in the morning the farmer goes into the barn and gathers together all of the cows that need to be milked. The cows are routed into the milking parlour, at which time the farmer has the chance to take a look at each cow and clean her teats. The farmer then attaches a milking machine to the cow and, depending on the cow, it takes 5 to 8 minutes to milk her. The machines are automatically removed when she is done milking. She can then head back into the barn to eat, drink, relax and socialize with her fellow cows until it is time for the next milking.
For more information about life on a dairy farm for a cow, take a look at our resource How a cow makes milk.