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Did You Know...Cow Style!

Have you ever played “Did You Know” with your friends?  Maybe it was just our family – but we would take turns sharing random facts to help pass the time when we were traveling, or at cattle show.  Its seems completely appropriate then as I sit here at the State Fair of West Virginia to give you some “Did You Know” facts…but this time they are not exactly random.


Farm Credit of the Virginias is proud to sponsor the Birthing Center at the State Fair of West Virginia.  During the week of the fair, Perks Organic Dairy is generous enough to bring several of their Jersey cows who are about to calve (have a baby) to the fair so that people can see a cow giving birth and be able to enjoy the young calves.  This is always popular, and often generates questions from people about the cows and calves.  In honor of these, here are some “Did You Know” facts about cattle, calves and dairy:


Did you know…cattle are also known as bovine.

Did you know…a female bovine that has not had a calf yet is called a heifer, and a female bovine that has had a calf is called a cow.  A male bovine is a bull and a castrated male bovine is a steer.

Did you know…a cow calves for the first time at 2 years old and should calve once a year after that.

Did you know…the gestation length of a cow (time she is pregnant) is a little over 9 months – similar to people!

Did you know…when calves are born most weigh between 65lbs and 90lbs, although there are some that can weigh more or less.

Did you know…beef calves are weaned at about 7 months old (on average) and will weigh between 500lbs and 700lbs.

Did you know…dairy calves are weaned within 24 hours of birth and bottle fed until they are old enough to eat grain and forage.

Did you know…a gallon of milk weights 8.6 lbs.

Did you know…a dairy cow produces 60-70lbs of milk per day on average, although many of them can produce more.

Did you know…it takes about 3 gallons of milk to produce a gallon of ice cream.

Did you know…it takes about 30 cups of milk to produce a pound of butter.

Did you know…more than 95% of beef and dairy farms are family owned.

Have a different question about cattle?  Let us know and we will get it answered!  And don’t forget, the State Fair of West Virginia runs through August 21st…make a visit and be sure to stop by the Birthing Center to see all the baby calves!

Monday, August 15, 2016
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