Cows produce the majority of milk in the world “The cow is the foster mother of the human race. From the time of the ancient Hindoo to this time have the thoughts of men turned to this kindly and beneficent creature as one of the chief sustaining forces of the human race” – W.D. Hoard Throughout history, cows have produced milk for human sustenance, (even before agriculture was developed).
Today cows produce the majority of milk consumed by people. The reason why cows are the number 1 milk source in the world is because they excel at producing milk. They are masters at converting feed sources (not fit for humans), and turning it into a highly nutritious product that we call milk. If you’ve ever wondered how much milk cows produce, you came to the right place. The Average Cow The United States is one of the leading dairy producing countries in the world, and American cows are among the most productive cows in world.
The average cow in the U.S. produces about 21,000 lbs. of milk per year, that’s nearly 2,500 gallons a year! On a daily basis, most cows average about 70 lbs. of milk per day, or about 8 gallons per day. 8 gallons is about 128 glasses of milk per day. Interestingly, a herd of 800 cows can produce a large tanker truckload of milk each day. Over a year, that would be about 20 million lbs. of milk or 2.
3 million gallons of milk. **Productivity of the average cow in select countries. Amount of pounds of milk produced in one year** Milk production records Cows are getting better at producing milk every year. Records are being broken all the time about how much milk cows can give. It’s really quite amazing how much cows have improved over the years. By the time you read this, there may be a new record.
But in order to illustrate how much milk the top cows can give, this is an interesting story. According to a news report, a cow in Wisconsin produced 72,000 lbs. of milk in a year, or about 8,000 gallons of milk in a year. To produce that much milk, it means that the cow had to produce about 23 gallons of milk each day. (source) **The average cow produces 70 lbs. of milk per day, or about 8 gallons.
Compare that to a top record holding cow that produces 23 gallons per day** Variables affecting milk production The amount of milk produced by dairy cows can be affected by a wide variety of variables. The key to dairy farming successfully is to minimize the impact of these variables. The following are some things that impact milk production: Feeding – What the cow eats is the largest factor affecting production.
If she isn’t eating enough energy or protein her milk production will decline. Changing feed sources will also affect the cow’s milk production. Any change in her daily meal will affect milk production until the cows re-adjusts to the new feed. Genetic Potential – The genetics of the cow plays a role in how much milk she can produce. If the cow is the daughter of a high producing cow, she will be more likely to produce a lot of milk due to her genetic predisposition towards milk production.
Weather – Sudden weather changes can stress the cows causing a decrease in milk production. Hot weather will also stress the cows out mostly because the cows will eat less. Eating less feed causes the cows to drop in milk production, so farmers emphasise keeping cows comfortable and cool during summer months Stage of Production – When the cow has her calf, she will begin to produce milk. Over time, the cow’s milk production will peak, then slowly drop off.
Eventually, the cow will dry up. Age of the cow – As a cow gets older, they become much better at producing milk. Most cows reach their maximum milk production after they finished growing. A cow will keep growing until she is 3-4 years old. Tracking Milk Production On our farm, we use technology to track our cow’s milk production daily. The milking machine will record each cow’s milk output in real-time.
Through the system, we can determine which cows are the top producers and which are the low producers. **The milk machines track milk production on a daily basis for each cow** This knowledge helps us feed the cows better. By understanding the cow’s milk output, we can group them accordingly and feed them according to their dietary needs. If a cow is producing a large amount of milk, we can feed her more energy and nutrients to support that milk production.
If a cow is not producing much milk, we can feed her less energy or she will gain too much weight. Knowing the cow’s milk production allows us to take better care of the cows. Breeding a better cow Through breeding, dairy farmers have been able to greatly improve the amount of milk that cows give. A cow today is 10 times more productive than a cow in the past. **9 million cows today produce more milk than 25 million cows in 1944** In 1944, there were 25.
6 million cows in the United States, while today there are only 9.3 million cows in the U.S. that produce 59% more milk than in 1944. Cows have increased in production so significantly, that it has allowed there to be a reduction of animals to support the milk needs of the U.S. Cows have also gotten better at converting feed to milk. The modern dairy cow needs less feed to produce milk. **Cows today produce more milk with less feed** This obviously has allowed the dairy industry to reduce its environmental footprint.
According to Dairy Cares, the dairy industry has reduced its carbon footprint by 63% in 65 years. While dairy cows have gotten very good at producing milk, dairies are also breeding their cows to last longer. Dairy farmers want cows that not only produce a lot of milk but a cow that will last a long time. It’s interesting, but when you breed for a balanced cow – with a strong frame and good feet and legs – milk production tends to follow.
Dairy farmers realize this, that’s why one of the most important criteria for selecting bulls is longevity. Do you have more questions? Did I answer your question about milk production. Let me know in the comments below Other posts you might Like!See Also: Girl Milked Like A Cow
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Researchers say they are able to create cows that produce milk containing a human protein called lysozyme Photo: PA By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent 9:00PM BST 02 Apr 2011 Follow The scientists have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk.
Human milk contains high quantities of key nutrients that can help to boost the immune system of babies and reduce the risk of infections. The scientists behind the research believe milk from herds of genetically modified cows could provide an alternative to human breast milk and formula milk for babies, which is often criticised as being an inferior substitute. They hope genetically modified dairy products from herds of similar cows could be sold in supermarkets.
The research has the backing of a major biotechnology company. The work is likely to inflame opposition to GM foods. Critics of the technology and animal welfare groups reacted angrily to the research, questioning the safety of milk from genetically modified animals and its effect on the cattle's health. But Professor Ning Li, the scientist who led the research and director of the State Key Laboratories for AgroBiotechnology at the China Agricultural University insisted that the GM milk would be as safe to drink as milk from ordinary dairy cows.
He said: "The milk tastes stronger than normal milk. “We aim to commercialize some research in this area in coming three years. For the “human-like milk”, 10 years or maybe more time will be required to finally pour this enhanced milk into the consumer’s cup.” China is now leading the way in research on genetically modified food and the rules on the technology are more relaxed than those in place in Europe.
The researchers used cloning technology to introduce human genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy cows before the genetically modified embryos were implanted into surrogate cows. Writing in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science One, the researchers said they were able to create cows that produced milk containing a human protein called lysozyme, Lysozyme is an antimicrobial protein naturally found in large quantities in human breast milk.
It helps to protect infants from bacterial infections during their early days of life. They created cows that produce another protein from human milk called lactoferrin, which helps to boost the numbers of immune cells in babies. A third human milk protein called alpha-lactalbumin was also produced by the cows. The scientists also revealed at an exhibition at the China Agricultural University that they have boosted milk fat content by around 20 per cent and have also changed the levels of milk solids, making it closer to the composition of human milk as well as having the same immune-boosting properties.
Professor Li and his colleagues, who have been working with the Beijing GenProtein Biotechnology Company, said their work has shown it was possible to "humanise" cows milk. In all, the scientists said they have produced a herd of around 300 cows that are able to produce human-like milk. The transgenic animals are physically identical to ordinary cows. Writing in the journal, Professor Li said: "Our study describes transgenic cattle whose milk offers the similar nutritional benefits as human milk.
"The modified bovine milk is a possible substitute for human milk. It fulfilled the conception of humanising the bovine milk." Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, he added the “human-like milk” would provide “much higher nutritional content”. He said they had managed to produce three generations of GM cows but for commercial production there would need to be large numbers of cows produced.
He said: “Human milk contains the ‘just right’ proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins for an infant’s optimal growth and development. “As our daily food, the cow’s milk provided us the basic source of nutrition. But the digestion and absorption problems made it not the perfect food for human being." The researchers also insist having antimicrobial proteins in the cows milk can also be good for the animals by helping to reduce infections of their udders.
Genetically modified food has become a highly controversial subject and currently they can only be sold in the UK and Europe if they have passed extensive safety testing. The consumer response to GM food has also been highly negative, resulting in many supermarkets seeking to source products that are GM free. Campaigners claim GM technology poses a threat to the environment as genes from modified plants can get into wild plant populations and weeds, while they also believe there are doubts about the safety of such foods.
Scientists insist genetically modified foods are unlikely to pose a threat to food safety and in the United States consumers have been eating genetically modified foods for more decades. However, during two experiments by the Chinese researchers, which resulted in 42 transgenic calves being born, just 26 of the animals survived after ten died shortly after birth, most with gastrointestinal disease, and a further six died within six months of birth.
Researchers accept that the cloning technology used in genetic modification can affect the development and survival of cloned animals, although the reason why is not well understood. A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals said the organisation was "extremely concerned" about how the GM cows had been produced. She said: "Offspring of cloned animals often suffer health and welfare problems, so this would be a grave concern.
"Why do we need this milk – what is it giving us that we haven't already got." Helen Wallace, director of biotechnology monitoring group GeneWatch UK, said: "We have major concerns about this research to genetically modify cows with human genes. "There are major welfare issues with genetically modified animals as you get high numbers of still births. "There is a question about whether milk from these cows is going to be safe from humans and it is really hard to tell that unless you do large clinical trials like you would a drug, so there will be uncertainty about whether it could be harmful to some people.
"Ethically there are issues about mass producing animals in this way." Professor Keith Campbell, a biologist at the University of Nottingham works with transgenic animals, said: "Genetically modified animals and plants are not going to be harmful unless you deliberately put in a gene that is going to be poisonous. Why would anyone do that in a food? "Genetically modified food, if done correctly, can provide huge benefit for consumers in terms of producing better products.