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Standard Milk Production

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Generally dairy cows:

  1. These are high-yield dairy breeds, such as the Prim’Holstein, which has resulted in a very significant increase in milk production in recent decades and at the same time, increased dependence on concentrates.
  2. Produce a very high volume of milk. While a nursing cow (raised for its meat) would naturally produce about 4 liters of milk a day, a dairy cow produces an average of 28 liters of milk a day over a 10-month period. During peak lactation, high-yielding dairy cows can produce up to 60 liters per day and up to 12,000 liters over their entire lactation.
  3. Can be derived from an intensive selection program for high milk production. This can lead to fertility problems, metabolic problems and health and well-being problems.
  4. Have a relatively short productive life expectancy. Dairy cows are usually culled (slaughtered) early, after their third lactation on average. In the natural state, a dairy cow can live up to 20 years.
  5. Can be reared in zero-grazing systems or with limited grazing access (eg. during the dry period, the period during which cows do not produce milk).

Generally dairy calves raised for their meat:

  1. They are of little value in the beef market because of their conformation and as such are often high for veal in generally intensive systems.
  2. Are usually males because the females are mainly used for the renewal of the dairy herd.
  3. Often do not get enough colostrum and thus have a weakened immune system, which does not allow them to resist infections and diseases adequately.


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