Friday, July 3, 2009

No Grain No Pain

July 3, 2009

Like many other dairy farmers Keith had always fed grain as part of our dairy herds diet. When we decided to seek organic certification we of course had to feed certified organic grain. Took a while for the cows to adapt to the change. Cows like things to taste the same. Similar to toddlers, a change in texture can mean a rebellion. Then after meeting with the folks at Traders Point Creamery (TPC) in Zionsville Indiana , we decided NO GRAIN was the way to go.

We made THIS new change at the perfect time; just as the cows were getting out to new spring pastures. Our milk production did drop as expected but not for long and not as much as we had feared. One problem we did not plan for, was how to get the cows into the parlor for milking. Before, it was the grain that enticed them. A little more reading, some phone calls to TPC and bingo-bango-bongo we discovered molasses. A sweet treat that provides a little extra energy for our bovines.

It took more phone calls to find a supplier for organic molasses in bulk and the winner was Zook Molasses Company in Pennslyvania. They sell us the "Zook Gook" in large plastic totes and deliver it to TPC where we pick it up with a borrowed trailer. (Thanks again Ken Kurtenbaugh)

At first the cows were afraid of the liquid black stuff being dribbled into their feed bin but soon they grew accustomed and lately have been requesting pancakes to go with their syrup. Never enough for those girls. Never enough. Yesterday we made the 6 hour round trip to Zionsville to pick up another load of molasses. The ride is long but TPC is always a great place to visit. Check them out at

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