Dairy milk and its products are essential to children’s diet because they provide additional vitamins, and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D, carbohydrates, and proteins. Hence, it is necessary to teach children about milk production to induce milk-drinking culture in them. The best way to start is by asking them if they have milk at home and know its source. Here are eight things you should think of teaching kids about milk production.
Cows need to give birth to a calf before they can start to produce milk. When a cow is fertile, the farmer breeds it with a bull or through artificial insemination. Usually, a cow delivers a calf in a secluded area at the barn away from the other cows for privacy. The farmer needs to prepare clean, comfortable beddings at the delivery area.
2. Caring For The Cow And The Calf
After giving birth, a cow needs adequate attention to ensure good health. In addition, the farmer inspects the calf to ensure that it can stand on its own. The farmer ensures that both the cow and the calf are comfortable and fed nutritious food and adequate water.
3. Farming Foods For Dairy Cows
For a cow to be healthy and produce quality milk, the farmer needs to feed the cows with a diet rich in carbohydrates, fatty acids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Usually, a farmer cuts silage such as green corn stalks, dry grass, sorghum grasses, and wheat to feed the dairy cows.
4. Where Do The Dairy Cows Live?
Dairy cows need suitable housing to protect them from harsh weather and allow access to feed and pasture. In addition, a farmer needs to choose a location that is well-drained and with fertile soil. These facilities include barrier-free stalls, dry land, tie stalls, and compost bedding.
5. Milking Time On The Farm
Most farmers use a milking machine to milk their cows two to three times a day. Therefore, the farmer can milk his cows in the morning and the evening. The process of milking takes five to ten minutes. Also, some farmers milk their cows in a parlor while others use robotic milker technology.
6. Processing Milk
After milking dairy cows, the milk passes through steel pipes to a large refrigerator for five °C or less storage. The farmer transports the milk to a milk factory for pasteurization and homogenization. The milk is then packaged and delivered to stores for selling.
7. Dairy Products
Milk is perishable and contains high proteins suitable for bacteria growth. Hence, it is processed to make dairy products that are essential sources of nutrition for people. Dairy products are foods produced from or containing milk from mammals, most typically cows. The products include cheese, butter, and yogurt.
8. How Much Milk Do Kids Need?
Milk is beneficial to the health of children since it offers fats, proteins, and calcium. However, kids must consume a healthy amount of milk. Therefore, it is recommended for children between 1-3 years to take one cup of whole fat daily. For kids between 4-8 years, 600 ml of cow’s milk is sufficient.