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Cow and Milk Facts

Cows stand to be among the more “basic” of farm animals, one which is hailed to be an essential in ideally painting the picture of a perfect farm scene.

The 2004 Home on the Range animated feature brought the traditional cow persona in a different light, telling the tale of how three young and unruly cows managed to help save their farm, as opposed to the passive personalities cows are often characterized to be, with different cows exhibiting individual aggression and tame personas on their own.
Dubbed as the “foster mothers of the human race”, cows stand to be the major source of milk which people drink, thus the reason why they are often found in farms. In fact, every family in the United States during the 1850s had their own cow, with the first cow in America landing in the Jamestown Colony some years back, in 1611.

Generally, cows are milked within an average of 3 to 4 years, with most cow calves being fed milk while they are 8 to 9 weeks old. As with most mammals, a cow must produce a calf for it to be able to produce milk, and most female cows, called heifers, are milked when they have their first calf at two years old.

1856 witnessed a revolution in the way milk is processed, with the development of the condensed milk process by Gail Borden. By 1895, the first pasteurizing system/machine was developed, furthering the processing rudiments involving milk.

Today, an estimated 110,000 farms based in the United States milk an average of 9.3 million cows, with most of these farms being family operated/maintained. Prior to the development of milking machines, estimates note that farmers back then are able to milk 6 cows each hour. With today’s modern milking machines, an average of 100 cows could be milked within an hour’s passing.

Given the benefits of milk, cows have maintained an important role in human societies, now with modern conveniences and benefits which makes the milking process faster and more efficient.

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