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: Cow Milk Alternatives
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I was told to start feeding my 6-month-old son three meals a day. My concern with doing this is should I also still be giving him 32 oz. of formula/breast milk? Right now he eats dinner and four 8 oz. bottles a day. Dr. Greene’s Answer: Many parents share your concern. By the time that you are juggling multiple feedings and formula or breast milk, an uneasy feeling often develops that something is getting lost in the mix.
When mealtime comes, which do you feed first, formula or solids? Or should the formula be given between meals, and how much? How much milk? How often? It all starts fairly simply: Most healthy formula-fed newborns take 2 or 3 ounces of formula per feeding, and eat every 3 or 4 hours. By one month of age, most have increased on their own to about 4 ounces every 4 hours. By six months, the amount at each feeding has increased to 6 or 8 ounces, but the frequency has dropped to 4 or 5 times a day.
By timing these larger feedings while you are awake, your baby often won’t need to eat in the middle of the night. Another way to express this rule of thumb is that the average baby takes 2 or 3 ounces of formula each day for every pound of body weight, up to a maximum of 32 ounces. A newborn weighing 7 lbs. will take an average of 14-21 ounces of formula in a day. A 4-month-old weighing 14 pounds needs 28-32 ounces.
Nevertheless, these are general guidelines. In real life, this may vary quite a bit from day to day and from baby to baby. It’s best to remain flexible and to let your baby’s appetite guide the amount. You don’t need to coax him to finish a bottle, or stop him if he still acts hungry. If your baby consistently chooses to take more or less than the expected amount, discuss this with your pediatrician.
What about breastfeeding? Moms who breastfeed are often worried because they can’t see or measure how much their babies are eating. Babies are born with a sophisticated mechanism that prompts them to nurse until they are full and to stop when their nutritional needs are satisfied. If a mother is not producing enough milk, a healthy baby will act hungry even after feeding and will not gain weight normally.
The pediatrician should be called if there is concern. What about starting solids? When a baby is still hungry after 32 ounces or nursing 8-10 times, it may be time to start solid foods. Typically, this occurs sometime between 4 to 6 months of age. There are several other indicators that your baby is ready to start solid foods. First, note that the AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months.
In addition, they advise that most babies are ready to start solid foods when they reach the following milestones: They can sit in a high chair or feeding chair and hold their head upright. They can open their mouths as food comes their way. They can move food from their mouth to their throat. They are approximately double their birth weight and over 13 pounds. It’s usually best to start with solids once or twice a day, and to finish each meal with nursing or a bottle.
Some babies prefer a little formula first to take the edge off their hunger. Babies can have as much of the solids as they want. At this stage, most of the nutrition still comes from breast milk or formula. The solids provide wonderful experience with flavors, textures, and the mechanics of eating. As the amount of solids they take increases, most babies settle into a pattern of 3 meals of solids each day.
The amount of formula tends to drop off a bit, but typically still falls in the range of 6 to 8 ounce bottles given 3 to 5 times a day. Most commonly, a smaller bottle (or half a bottle) is given with each meal and a larger one at bedtime. Some babies also enjoy a bottle first thing in the morning. How much milk do older babies need? An older baby can have up to 32 ounces of formula per day. In addition, he can have as much in the way of solids or water as he wants to supplement this.
The mealtime formula is usually given at the end of the meals, to top off the solids in a comfortable and easy way. Even though the solids are now playing a larger role, the breast milk or formula still provides the core of the nutritional needs. If a baby begins to regularly take less than about 20 ounces per day, you might want to offer the bottle first and then solids. Thirst is an extremely strong drive.
As long as a baby’s own regulating mechanism isn’t tricked by getting too much juice or water, healthy babies will take enough formula or breast milk to meet their nutritional needs. This is one good reason not to put juice in the bottle. Relax Let your baby set the pace, but if he continues to consistently take more than 32 ounces or less than 20 ounces, run it by your pediatrician. Within these broad guidelines, there is plenty of room for different preferences and schedules.
Variety is part of life. Your baby and your own intuition are good guides through these exciting times. Photo credit: Christina Rutz InfantInfant & Baby FeedingNewbornNutritionTop Infant Nutrition Dr. Alan Greene Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.