Meet One of the Herd: Daisy
Farm cows are work animals with one role: to make milk for our farmhouse cheddar. But as Renée LaCoss, herdsman at our Dairy for 15 years shares, when you’re milking them twice a day, every day, bonds develop.
Who’s your favorite cow?
Daisy. I call her “Poopsy.” She turned eight in March.
Why is she your favorite?
I’ve just loved her since she was a baby. I liked her mom a lot. I liked her grandmother. And she’s just a sweet cow.
Why do you think she’s so sweet?
I think because 4-Hers showed her as a calf and as a yearling at the fairs. The kids give her so much attention. One time, I let some of the youngest 4-Hers wash her at the Fair. They were still learning how to do it, so it took them nearly an hour and she stood there patiently the whole time. She was pretty clean when they were done!
It sounds like she would be a good cow for the Children’s Farmyard?
No. Unfortunately, she does not like being hand milked. She’ll stand hand milking for like a minute, but she wouldn’t stand for as long as they need her to. She doesn’t mind machine milking at all, though.
What else can you tell us about her?
She’s a very pretty cow to look at. She was Brown Swiss “Grand Champion” as a three-year old at the Champlain Valley Fair. She was the best looking cow in the room! She’s a pretty good milker and she’s had three daughters for us: Tsunami, Rolo, and Azalea, who was just born yesterday.
How do you pick her out when she comes through the parlor?
Her udder. Her face. And she has an ear tag that says 909 and her name! So you can use that. But they all look different. They’re all different shades of brown… they’re built different… their udders all look different.
How many cows are you milking right now?
Can you tell all 105 apart?
Most of them. Some of the ones that just had their first calves are a little tough to tell apart still. There’s probably five that I get mixed up.
Do you give her special attention when she comes through the parlor?
I give her extra scratches. Every time I walk by. And her daughters. I like a lot of cows, it’s just that Daisy is the one that I love the most. I’ve told Sam, “If I ever leave the Farm, Daisy’s coming with me. She’s my baby.”
See Daisy and learn all about our grass-based, certified humane dairy and cheesemaking at our now weekly Sun to Cheese Tours.