As National Dairy Month comes to a close, consider some factoids about the local industry, courtesy of the Marshak Dairy, part of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The university's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, known for its state-of-the-art animal care, is home to a herd of 200 hard-working milking cows.
New Bolton's Marshak cows eat 65 pounds of corn silage and 10 pounds of grass haylage per day - a diet that pays off handsomely.
Nationally, the average cow produces about 55 pounds of milk per day; at New Bolton, that number jumps to 70 to 75 per day. Wonder if that gourmet silage plays a role?
Producing all that milk generates a healthy thirst: each Marshak cow drinks 30 to 50 gallons of water each day, enough to fill a normal bathtub.
An experiment in feeding pasteurized waste milk to calves - an effort to decrease costs and maximize efficiency - resulted in heftier, healthier cows. A 38 percent national pneumonia rate, for example, was cut to 13 percent.
On a hot summer day during National Dairy Month, is there a better way to celebrate all that labor than with a locally-made ice cream cone? La Michoacana in Kennett Square is an easy drive. It even has a Facebook page in case you want some flavor recommendations: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/LA-MICHOACANA-HOMEMADE-ICE-CREAM/159725455662. Bovine bon appetit!