|Regulations and details major part of operating a dairy|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor|
|Monday, 08 July 2013 08:20|
PEMBERVILLE - The Dan and Shelli Morlock dairy operation is inspected twice a year to be sure it is in compliance.
The milk is tested and inspected with each pick-up.
The milkman brings the truck every other day to collect the Morlock's milk and take it to Cleveland. There are no holidays
The Morlocks boast Grade A milk, or what is called fluid milk.
It is thus used for liquid consumption as well as to make other products including ice cream or yogurt.
Grade B is used for some cheeses and pet food.
Their milk is packaged as American Dairymen's milk and can be purchased at the dairy barn during the Wood County Fair as well as at Circle K stores year-round, as well as other locations.
Shelli says the recent growth of Greek yogurt is beneficial to dairy farmers as it takes three gallons of raw milk to make one gallon of Greek yogurt for consumption.
The milkman cannot take the milk if it rises above 40 degrees. So if the compressor goes out, or they run out of Freon, it is a definite crisis.
When the milkman picks up a load, it is combined with milk from other dairies. Thus a sample is taken from each farm and later tested.
"If our milk is contaminated, we have to buy the whole truckload," Shelli said.
Sometimes a cow will need to be treated with an antibiotic. Her milk cannot be mixed with the others as it will show.
The Morlocks thus keep her milk separated and feed it to the calves. They will test the milk to make sure "she's clean" before her milk is sold off the farm.
The health of the cows is paramount.
"The cows come first," Dan said.
The couple noted how they know when something may be wrong with one of the cows by the way she acts.
"They let us know when something is wrong," Shelli said. "They are animals of routine."
If one cow is not behaving normally, they will more closely examine her to determine the issue.
A healthy cow will produce roughly 80 pounds of milk a day. That is the measure used by dairies. If a gallon of milk weighs eight pounds, that is roughly 10 gallons of milk per day.
Most of their cows are artificially inseminated, however they do sometimes keep the younger bulls born on the farm. They are usually sold as breeding stock to other farms.
Though nationwide, the average age of milking cows is 3, the Morlocks estimate the average age of their herd is 8. Their oldest cow, Bea, died at the age of 21, not long after giving birth to her last calf.
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