In preparation for our trip to Kenya, Tammy wanted to make sure that the P.E.I. youth…or more specifically, the city slickers from Stratford, had visited a dairy barn. So the youth participants headed to the Kensington area to learn more about….cows.
Here is how Tammy explained it to the group:
Nobra Hosteins is the largest dairy farm in P.E.I. However much of what they do is the same as most P.E.I. dairy farms. The main difference between P.E.I. dairy farms is that some of them milk using a parlor system (what we saw at Nobra), while the smaller farms use a tiestall system. This means the cows are tied up in rows, with a milk pipeline running around the barn over their heads. The farmer/milker walks around to the cows placing the milker on them and connecting it to the pipeline.
As our guide, Peter, told us, the average dairy farm on P.E.I. has approximately 50 cows they each milk twice per day. There are approximately 14,000 dairy cows on about 180 farms in P.E.I. The number of cows per farm ranges from 20 to the 350 at Nobra Holsteins.
From our information sessions with Dr. John VanLeeuwen from the Atlantic Veterinary College, we’re getting the sense that what we’re going to see in Kenya will be quite a contrast with the numbers at farms on P.E.I. But we’ve also being told that improving the health of one or two dairy cows in Kenya can dramatically change a family’s life. It’s an interesting contrast.
Stay tuned for more about ….cows!