Thursday, March 8, 2012
Two years of production then most dairy cows are turned into hamburger!
The typical dairy cow raised on a conventional confinement dairy farm is injected with hormones to increase milk production. Then after only two year's on the job, she's slaughtered and turned into hamburger because she's either sick, lame, fails to breed, or is a less than stellar producer. The average cull rate in the dairy industry is 30 percent. That means that each year, almost a third of our dairy cows are slaughtered and replaced with new heifers. Most of these cows go to cattle buyers for large packing companies, and go into your supermarket hamburger, fast food hamburger, or mixed into other supermarket meat products.
A cow that's treated well, spared the hormones, and raised on pasture can be expected to produce milk for ten years or more. The cull rate in a grass-based dairy can be as low as 7 percent. The money that a farmer saves by not having to replace a third of the herd every year helps offset the fact that a cow free of artificial hormones produces less milk. Bossy gets the respect that she deserves and consumers get hormone-free, nutrient-rich milk.