This week, we head back to Mapleview Dairy in Madrid, NY to visit Farmer Kelsey and take a deep dive into what cows eat and where they spend their time relaxing after they’ve spent 10 hours a day chewing their food (Yes, 10 hours a day!).
Cows at Mapleview Dairy are fed a diet consisting of corn silage, haylage, cornmeal/energy sources, and vitamins and minerals. Those four components make up what is called TMR or Total Mixed Ration.
Farmer Kelsey farms 2,300 acres of corn on her farm that will be used in feed for her cows. The corn is harvested using a chopper, which turns corn into small, uniform pieces that are easy for the cows to digest. Cows are able to not only eat the cob of corn, but the entire stalk! Pretty amazing.
During harvest time at Mapleview, they harvest 15 tons of corn per acre. That’s 30-40,000 pounds of corn! Each acre equals the same amount of weight as a city bus.
The TMR is combined in mixers on the farm. It takes 14 mixers worth of feed a day to feed all 3,200 cows on the farm. Each mixer holds the weight of a city bus.
Now that the cow feed is ready it’s time to eat! Did you know that cows spend 10 hours a day chewing their food? They deserve a rest after all that hard work chewing. At Farmer Kelsey’s farm, cows rest on waterbeds covered in recycled manure solids. The recycled manure makes a comfy bed for the cows.