Moo day

Day 68 of 100, northern Jutland, Denmark

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
one end is moo, the other milk.
– Ogden Nash

Today’s post is a little different from my usual aimlessly-gazing-at-navel variety, because today we did something. Went out into the world, purposely came into contact with the community, interacted with people, watched cows dance.

At the calf pen, one child offers hay to another
At the calf pen, one child offers hay to another

Today is Økodag, the day where organic dairy cows across the country are let out to pasture for the first time after a long winter of being cooped up in their barns.

This is a big event in Denmark, and participating farms make their own little “festival” of it, opening their premises to the public (usually families with small children, city folk, and odd balls like us). We headed to an airy, modern farm owned by a friend of Flemming’s Dad. They have just under 300 Jersey cows, and as part of Økodag, we and about 300 other people got to tour the facilities, learn about dairy production, animal husbandry, pet the farm dog, and hang out with a lot of cows.

Jersey cows lie in their pens adjoining the milking carousel, where they're milked twice a day. The milk from the farm's 280 cows is stored in 5000 litre steel tanks while awaiting the daily transport by the milk companies.
Jersey cows lie in their pens adjoining the milking carousel, where they’re milked twice a day. The milk from the farm’s 280 cows is stored in 5000 litre steel tanks while awaiting the daily transport by the milk companies.

We also got to look in the secondary barn where everything to do with calving happens – the birthing pens, calf pens, and the enclosure for pregnant cows. Flemming comes from a dairy farming family (though they left farming a long time ago), so I was well supplied with information from my 2 guides.

At noon, having gathered everyone at the field adjoining the big barn where the cows spend most of their days, the farm workers rolled the big doors open and out rushed some totally thrilled cows. Far from their usual placid, cud-chewing selves, these ones galloped out of their holding pens, bucking and skipping for joy:

What a feeling!

charlene

photographer

3 thoughts on “Moo day

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