On Cows

17 02 2009

koe3

A new British research project has shown that cows with names, and which are treated on a more ”personal” level will produce more milk.  We have many cows in the Netherlands, but they all have names so such research could not be carried out here. Dutch cows typically have very old fashioned names, or names of queens. Beatrix is a firm #11 on the list of most popular names for cows.
Traditionally the cows have family-names, a calf is named after her mother, so if the mother is Bertha 85, her daughter would be Bertha 86. (boy-cows are a disappointment :mrgreen: )
The preferred colour for cows is Black and White, with more black than white. Brown (red) cows give the same amount of milk, but the farmers always preferred the black ones, so red cows are very rare. Meat-cows on the other hand are predominantly red. I remember when we were travelling in the car to our grandparents, who lived far, far away, in the middle of the Netherlands, it was a great novely for us children to see the red cows instead of the black ones from the North.

koe7

The really stupid controversial  decision by our stupid greedy spineless ill-informed politicians to kill all lifestock in Foot-and-mouth infected areas was a disaster for many farmers. Our moronic politicians may believe a cow is only a money making machine to a farmer, but the truth is that lifestock is part of the family for many generations. And although they have to make money for the farmers, they are also loved. Lifestock is inherited, and improved, and the farmers know everything about the background of animals whose generations have lived next to their own. A cow brought form another farmer is not really ”their” cow. The life-stock was replaced, but those cows weren’t ”their” cows, they were not the cows bred from stock bred by their fathers, and grandfathers, and great-grand fathers. These cows, and sheep were strangers. And the cows and sheep that were killed were loved and appreciated. Pity our politicians can’t understand that.

koe4

Dutch milking cows are the best in the world, :D, not only does  a Dutch cow give a lot of milk, they do so for a very long time. A dutch milk cow can give over 100.000 liters of milk throughout her life. A cow can become a ”star” cow if she gives a lot of milk, over many years, while keeping her good looks and health.
This is a show-cow with all the features to make her a star-cow in the future.

koe

Just for fun: Sports cow doing some formation jumping!

koe5

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24 responses

17 02 2009
Saudi in US

Aafke,

Don’t you know that Happy Cows Come from California? Grandma cow was originally from the Netherlands 😉

There are many commercials in that series. Some are funny.

Nice article by the way. Especially, the part about life stock being inherited for multiple generation. That type of farming is disappearing in the US with large efficient farms taking over. In these cases cows are housed in dense areas some times never seeing the outdoors until they are shipped to the meat packing plants.

17 02 2009
Aafke

Saudi in US, I hate ”industrial farming” and I buy organic!
Funny ad! I love the Budweiser ads too!
btw, you are the winner in naming our resident muttawa! Your prize is: You can choose a subject for a post featuring a drawing which I will send on to you.
It may feature Bakheet Al Anzi, or anything else.
(within the bounds of decency) :mrgreen:

17 02 2009
Chiara

Finally, the long promised cow post, and it did not disappoint.

A friend was raised on a dairy farm here, and the cows were much prized and looked after by all family members. Eventually because of industrial farming, they sold their herd and only grew hay for sale. She always stated that fresh, non-pasteurized milk was the best and the risks of disease from milk overrated.

The idea of when a cow becomes one’s own “their” livestock is an interesting concept, since here a farm often must be in a family for multiple generations before it is considered that family’s farm.

17 02 2009
Marahm

Wonderful post, Aafke. Most people do not realize the value of cows, apart from their milk and meat. A cow cannot be ridden, cannot be hitched to a cart, cannot be cuddled on a rainy night, cannot perform in a circus or play with children, yet their personalities are sweet and gentle. Their voices soothe an agitated heart.

I live in the “dairy state,” where cows are part of the landscape. I agree with Chiara’s friend re: fresh, non-pasteurized milk; it’s definitely superior. I used to buy it at a local farm, but now I live in the city and can’t get it. Besides, I’ve become lactose intolerant!

17 02 2009
susanne430

Oh, cows! I love ’em! I think they are my favorite animals. 🙂 My dad grew up on a dairy farm and I live near them. I am so glad as I find them cute with their big ol’ brown eyes!

Thanks for a cute post!

17 02 2009
Dennis the Vizsla

I remember one time we went whale-watching and an entire school of beef cows followed the boat all day, playfully leaping and splashing through the wake and doing flips in the air. Sadly these beautiful animals are threatened by drag nets cast by deep-water trawlers that are trying to catch undersea flocks of chickens.

17 02 2009
Chiara

The most beautiful cows in the world in my opinion are Swiss cows, and with their bells they are a symphony!

Marahm–Lactase tablets do wonders for the lactose intolerant.

Dennis the Vizsla–don’t you just hate when cows are caught in the nets of trawling industrial boats, and then just tossed back, dead of course, for not being the more valuable “chickens of the sea”?

18 02 2009
Lat

Interesting information on cows! I’ve only seen cows in the zoo or when they are paraded proudly on Pongal( a hindu harvesting festival) in Little India.

Cows are wonderfully peaceful animals and bring much benefit to humans,no doubt.
The jumping cow is really cute! But really ,can it compete with the dolphin.They are one smart creatures,you know!

18 02 2009
Haleem

In Bangladesh we had powdered milk labelled “Red Cow”. The ads were really good. It was a surprise to learn there really ARE red cows!

I personally avoid eating beef (prefer chicken) due to the high red meat content… only occasionally I eat it.

18 02 2009
Saudi in US

Aafke,

I have not switched to organic yet, although I would like to do that. It requires a major life style adjustment where I live, having to drive to far away markets. Plus, I have not found away to get my steroids legally without the industrial farm junk they feed us 🙂

And thanks for the article. I am thinking something silly to coincide with the news about the sacking of the head of the commission. The title can be “What does a Black Hand do for retirement”. We can have him buying a house at some resort island and watching all the young girl in small haram bikinis, surrounded by partying neighbors, etc. The picture can be the Black Hands equivalent of The Scream.

Note I kept it within the bounds of decency like you requested. My original thought was to have him at a nude beach 😀

18 02 2009
Achelois

I love Dutch and Swiss cows. They are beautiful.

18 02 2009
Tee

Are cows in the Netherlands also artificially inseminated to produce milk year-round, shot up with a cocktail of medications to prevent disease in their one-cow stall in which they cannot even turn around? Are their boy-cows taken away from them as soon as they’re born (not old enough to even stand up)? Please say no, as I’d like to imagine the devil of capitalism lives only here in the US where everything is driven by money, power, greed and then some more of that evil stuff. 😦
I’ve forgotten the taste of cow milk. 😦 Soy has to do for now 😛 I wish there was a place where all beings had rights and those which could not voice their problems had advocates there for them.
Tell me of such a place and I’m packing my bags straight away!
Thanks for writing about cows, they’re beautiful animals 🙂

18 02 2009
Aafke

Glad you all enjoyed!

Dennis, you are seriously confused!!! 😀

Saudi in US, I shudder to think what you might come up with!

19 02 2009
Saudi in US

So does that mean you accepted the assignment. Or should I come up something more challenging :-/

19 02 2009
Aafke

Saudi, you mean i have to draw the Black hand retirement home????
Couldn’t you think of something more difficult?

Tee We have ”industrial” farming here too, but it is getting less and less popular, we as customers have a wide choice in what kind of meat we buy, and more and more people prefer organic.
Besides, I knew a farmer who kept Blonde-d’Aquitaine, a French meat-cow, and all the steers were kept indoors and fattened up before slaughter, (alas, such was their fate) and I don’t know if they qualified as organic, but they looked very comfortable and contented. Actually they made me think of a gentlemens club, hanging around chewing cud, being pleased with themselves.
Cows like Blonde d’Aquitaine can’t be artificially inseminated, they are kept in herds with a bull, but milking cows are artificially inseminated, so they can use the best bulls. But it is narrowing the genepool, so some farmers are rethinking it.
Horses are also inseminated, KI as it is called, is a blooming business in the Netherlands

19 02 2009
Sumera

Dont eat meat at all – can’t stand the smell, sight and texture of it. Now milk – I am partial to the odd dash of milk in my tea and as part of my cereal, but never a glass of milk on its own ~raises pinky~

19 02 2009
sf

I totally love cows. I remember in high school we visited this farm and a bunch of us tried milking the cow. It was so difficult (though looks too easy when the experts do it, manually ) but I was the only one who managed to *squeeze* out some few drops 😉
If I owned a cow,I would name her Bessy, I have no idea why but that name just suits my cow, 😛

19 02 2009
Saudi in US

Hmmm, The house is not important. The idea is he is at the beach and now has no powers to tell people what to do. He even lost his stick 🙂

He will be screaming in agony. Hence The Scream theme. You mean to tell me replicating a master piece with a Black Hand twist is easy?

20 02 2009
Susie of Arabia

I was so mooooved by your amooooosing post. I never really thought much about the black cow/red cow aspect or how one might be better for milk and the other for meat. Interesting! Reading this put me in a good mooood!

20 02 2009
wildstorm

What a great post! Living in North Texas, I am surrounded by miles and miles of cattle ranches (in amongst all these horse ranches). My husband’s family keeps some cows on their property mostly for ag exemption for taxes but they are still part of the family. We moved Rosebud down the road a few years ago where she happily grazes (on good grass) with other cows producing each year new and beautiful offspring. People around here, especially the smaller ranchers, take pride in their bovine and have much the same passion as you’ve described. It’s serious business.

21 02 2009
Aafke

Well, well, I was really thinking nobody else would think this an interesting post! I wonder if we are all clones of the same person…. 😉

21 02 2009
Achelois

You know Aafke, you can’t see a single cow where I live. Well, you can see dead ones in butcheries but not a live cow. You can find plenty of camels though!

22 02 2009
Tony

My wife is a cow lover she has a cow nightie, cow slippers, cow….
(insert silent pause of disbelief here)
WHAT!!!….
MEAT-COWS!!!!!
Are you for real woman!!!
Who would eat meat from such a beautiful creature. We get our meat from the butcher shop not from the poor cute adorable cows

22 02 2009
Aafke

Achelois, so where do the cows at the butchers come from?
And we don’t have camels…

Tony, I thought you would really like brown cows!
We need to have a talk on meat, shops butchers and cows……..

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