Our values and why we choose not to be organic
We hope this answers all your questions.
We make our own silage (feed for the cows) and work with local farmers as well. If the ground needs additional fertilizer to produce a nutritious crop, we provide it. Our motto is, if you take from land you have to give to the land. Manure from our dairy is used to fertilize however if that does not provide enough nutrients for the land we add additional fertilizer to make sure the ground does not get depleted. Rotating crops is also part of our farming program.
Time in the Pasture
Our ladies are provided with a very large fenced in area (pen) which has a shaded area, wind blocks and almost 365 days of sunshine a year; they have maternity leave and receive first class accommodation and an extra watchful eye during their pregnancy and delivery. We don’t have our cows out in the pasture in New Mexico however, feed and water is close so they will not have to walk very far in 90-100 degree weather. At the hottest time of the day almost all cows lay down or stand in the large shaded area in their pen. It is an ideal picture to see cows walk in pastures a few months out of the year. Generally, in colder or wet climates the rest of the year the cows would be indoors in large free-stalls where they can walk around yet laydown in comfortable sand or straw bedding and they would be protected from the elements. It is what we grew up with in the Netherlands.
New Mexico has a completely different climate, one that allows cows to be outside all year round.
Water is very valuable, if we have our cows in the field and allow them to graze the field it will have to be irrigated otherwise there is hardly anything for them to graze. Cows when grazing will walk and crush part of their feed, they lay in it and use it as their bathroom. There is a loss of crop and wasted water as a result of the inefficiency. To be good stewards of this part of the country we have to be as conservative with water as much as possible. That’s not the only reason; today’s cows have been bred to make high quality milk. Just grass does not provide them with all the nutrients they need. The cows need additional high quality nutrients. As a result, they get to hangout in a large comfortable fenced in area with shade and get a mixture of feed specifically formulated for them by a nutritionist to make sure they get all the nutrients their body needs to be a healthy cow.
Cows can get mastitis (infection in their udder) and we will treat them. They can also get an eye infection or any other infection, worms, pneumonia you name it they are not immune to illnesses. We will not let them suffer and will treat the illness at hand, the sick cows will be separated in our designated hospital pen until they are better and they have fulfilled the time frame removing the medicine from their body. Some still need to be milked to prevent mastitis or help heal and that is done after all the healthy cows are milked. The milk from the sick cows is always separated. After the sick cows have been milked the whole milking system is cleaned to ensure food safety.
We guarantee that we never have and never will give our calves medicine to grow faster or cows to give more milk. The health of our calves and cows is our top priority. We believe making the cows as comfortable as possible and giving them the best quality feed is how a cow, really a top performer, will make the best quality milk which we use to make Freanna Yoghurt.