Posted 3/8/2017 1:55pm by Kinley Coulter.
March winds are roaring, a warm sun is shining and the pastures are almost visibly trembling with the prospect of spring! Spring at Coulter Farms is calving season. Our Hereford beef cows and our Jersey dairy cows are not saying much, but if they could speak, they would be grumbling about being SO ready to get out of the barns, drop their 75 pound calves and go kick up their heels in the pastures. Frankly, the whole farm seems to leaning so hard into spring that it could almost tip over and fall on its metaphorical nose.
One thing that we are anticipating is getting the cows back onto pasture after a long winter of feeding fermented hay. Despite our best efforts to make the highest possible quality of hay, it is NEVER as good as our pastures. If we have to feed hay in the summer, during a dry spell, milk production can drop 30-50% in just a few days off pasture. I have heard pasture called ‘Dr. Green’ and I’m a firm believer that he is the finest veterinarian on the planet. He cures low milk production, drooping ears, sore feet, low energy, sniffles, dull hair, and underweight cows in no time! We try to avoid taking pictures for the website until after the animals have spent a few weeks on pasture. If our animals look happy, energetic, productive and healthy… now we’ve let you in on our secret. We also believe that milk and cheese and meat from healthy animals eating healthy food is the best human medicine on the planet! (Bet you didn’t know that 'Dr Green' also treats humans… :)
If you’ve been buying our dairy products all winter… you’ll soon notice them becoming brighter and darker gold in color. The beta-carotein (Vitamin A) and countless other natural ‘phytochemicals’ give our 100% Grassfed dairy products their distinctive ‘sun-golden’ color….green pastures magnify this color. We often hear customers talk about the virtues of kale and other ‘high color’ greens compared to limp, insipid, watery iceberg lettuce. Very few people make the ‘high color’ connection with dairy products. Most of our great-grandparents would have looked very skeptically at today’s bright white grain-fed milk. One hundred years ago, everyone drank 100% grassfed milk. Grandma would have smirked at thin, white, watery milk and debated whether to dump it down the drain or risk feeding it to the cat. We enjoy the seasonality of our milk’s color… now you can watch for the changing color yourself and be reminded… It matters what your food eats :)
Hopefully, by next week we’ll have pictures for you of new Jersey calves watching their mothers being milked in our brand new milking parlor that my three boys spend the winter building… stay tuned!