FAQ

  1. When can I come to the farm?
  2. How many cows live at Milky Way Farm and what breed are they?
  3. Do you sell milk on the farm?
  4. How often does a cow have a calf?
  5. What does a cow eat everyday?
  6. How much milk does the average cow give daily?
  7. Is the milk processed at the farm?
  8. Can a dairy farmer take vacations?
  9. How many people visit the farm during October pumpkin season?
  10. Does the farm accept credit cards?
 

When can I come to the farm?

Milky Way Farm is a working dairy farm. We are open to visitors the same hours as Chester Springs Creamery unless a tour visit has been scheduled. Products can be purchased in our Farm Market Building near Chester Springs Creamery during daylight hours. When Chester Springs Creamery is open we welcome visitors to walk about in designated areas seeing the animals in outdoor pastures. We are not a petting zoo, and we do not allow our animals to be fed by visitors. We feed our animals at certain times a day with specific foods for their needs. Barn and farmhouse areas are not open to the public unless a private tour is scheduled.

How many cows live at Milky Way Farm and what breed are they?

Currently, we have 60 Holstein-Friesian and cross bred cows and calves, 30 of which are milking cows. The Holstein-Friesian breed is identified by black and white markings. In the Holstein breed each cow has unique markings distinct from any other cow. This breed is the most common in the United States due to their high milk production and large body frame. The average milking Holstein cow weighs 1,300 pounds. Cross bred animals result from mating a bull from another breed (in our case Jersey or Swedish Red) to a Holstein cow. Cross bred animals may give less milk but have better health and vigor.

Do you sell milk on the farm?

Yes, we sell pasteurized whole milk and skim milk. We believe in the safety of pasteurization and thus pasteurize our milk at 146 deg for a long time to preserve the quality of milk taste. Our milk is cream line meaning it is not homogenized. The cream rises to the top of each bottle. Just give it a good shake each time you pour for delicious tasting milk. Milk can be purchased at Milky Way Farm in the farm market building. It is for sale during daylight hours. We also sell our own European style yogurt and pints of pure cream.

How often does a cow have a calf?

Normally, a cow is bred to give birth to a calf every year, at which time she will begin and continue to produce milk for a period of up to 12-15 months. Production peaks about two months after the calving date. Some 60 to 90 days after calving, the cow will be rebred for her next calf. The gestation period for a cow is 9 months. To maintain the yearly calving interval, the cow milks for 7 1/2 months while she is pregnant with her next calf. The newborn calf will weigh approximately 70-100 pounds and can walk within an hour of birth.

What does a cow eat everyday?

Cows require a balanced diet of fiber, carbohydrates for energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Half of a cow’s diet may consist of forages, such as, dry hay made from grasses and legumes, and silages made from hay and corn. A grain mixture made of ground corn, soybean pellets, vitamins and minerals provides the other half of a cow’s diet. In the late spring, summer and early fall, grass pasture is a readily available forage. Cows have 1 stomach that is divided into 4 compartments, the largest of which is the rumen. The rumen allows the cow to regurgitate forage and re-chew it (cud) for further digestion. A cow may spend 8 hours a day consuming food and an additional 10 hours a day chewing her cud. A mature cow may consume up to 25 gallons of water daily to allow her body to digest all this food.

How much milk does the average cow give daily?

We milk the cows robotically, which allows a cow to choose how often (typically three times a day) she wishes to be milked. The average cow produces approximately 54 lbs. of milk per day (about 7 gallons). Milk is produced within the udder of the cow in four large mammary glands. To produce the 54 lbs. of milk, the cow’s body pumps over 20,000 pounds of blood through blood vessels in the udder. Milking machines remove the milk from the cow’s teats by suction. The milking machine transports milk through sanitized pipes to a filter and into a 1000 gallon refrigerated milk tank. This arrangement ensures cleanliness and rapid cooling to preserve a fresh flavor. For more information on robotic milking see the site for Lely robotic milking machines.

Is the milk processed at the farm?

Yes as detailed above, but most of our milk is hauled every-other day by a large tanker truck to a processing plant. We sell our milk to Land O’ Lakes Cooperative, which sells tanker loads to a number of different processing plants. At the processing plant milk is tested for cleanliness and pasteurized. Milk may be used to create various milk products which include whole fluid milk, low-fat fluid milk, flavored milk, whole and non-fat dry milk powder, butter, cheese, evaporated and condensed milk, frozen ice cream and cultured products such as yogurt and sour cream.

Can a dairy farmer take vacations?

Yes, with the help of family and friends. Farmer Sam and family get away for 10 days in the summer and a weekend winter trip as well. The cows need to be fed and milked everyday, so many family and friends help to cover all the jobs.

How many people visit the farm during October pumpkin season?

Approximately, 15,000 people visit Milky Way Farm on the weekends in October. People travel from across the tri-state area to visit Milky Way Farm to see the farm animals, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, pick a pumpkin right from the vine. Since the opening of the Chester Springs Creamery in May 2001, visitors enjoy the “moolicious” ice cream manufactured fresh on the premises using milk from Milky Way Farm’s own cows.

Do you accept Credit cards on farm or at Creamery?

Visa and Mastercard are accepted at farm during October Saturdays and Sundays. Other farm events or purchases may be paid with credit if coordinated with Farmer.  Creamery accepts credit cards when open for customers.