Redtail Ridge Dairy currently has 1,200 cows, on 3 sq. miles of land, and expanded from 80 cows in 2002. Thome family started in the dairy business here in 1963 by their grandfather, and is now the only dairy of 18 that once existed on their street, Ledge Road.
Newborn calves, just 2 weeks old, live in painted cow-colored shelters near the old farmhouse.
Calves are removed from mother soon after birth, and the cows are ready to breed again just 60-80 days after last pregnancy. Gestation period of cows is 280 days, peak milk production is 100 lbs./cow/day, peaking 45-60 days after giving birth. 90% of the milk in Wisconsin is used for cheese and butter, and you need an average of 1 acre per cow to distribute the manure. Redtail has approximately 3 square miles of land either owned or rented.
- ©2015 George Steinmetz
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