Every Cow Has a Name – Why Not A Name Tag?

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by Andrew

When I say the word cow – what comes to mind?b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_20120917_130548.jpg

A black & white one maybe?

Like you may have a German Shepard or a Miniature Schnauzer for a dog, farmers can have different breeds of cows. The most famous cow in books and cartoons, is also the most popular kind of dairy cow. Those black and white ones you see are ‘Holsteins’ and make up well over 90 percent of all the cows farmers raise for milk production. 

Here is another fun fact. Did you know that no two holsteins have the same spots? It is kind of like how no two people have the same fingerprint. But even when they all look different, sometimes we need help to remember who is who. That is why in our barn we keep cow name tags above each cow. These signs aren’t in all dairy barns, but we like having them to help us keep track of who-is-who, which cows belongs in which stall (don’t worry – there is a post coming soon about stalls) and remember which family tree she belongs to.

Here is an example of a sign, and what it says.

A cow's name tag!

The first line – Bellson Dolman Wonder is her full name. Bellson is our farm name, and shows which farm was responsible for breeding her mother. Dolman is her father’s name, and Wonder is her name.

Next line is her birthday followed by her beauty rating. That’s right – every cow in the herd gets a score for how pretty they are our of 100.

The next two lines show how much milk, fat and protein she has produced as a 2 year old and as a 3 year old. Those are all in kilograms. And in case you are wondering – that does mean that when she was 3 years old – she produced over 11 000 kilograms of milk!

 The next two lines are her parents’ full names (including the farms they come from). Sire is ‘Dad’ in cow language, and ‘Dam’ is mom.

Finally, the last #169 at the bottom is the number you will find on her ear tag. It is the last step to confirming that Wonder is who she says she is.

For the younger animals, we have signs with pictures to help us get familiar with which spots are on which animals. (Like below)

And now you know that cows have name tags!

Some signs even have their picture.

This entry was posted in Animal Care and tagged , , , , on by .

About Andrew

Social media is becoming a useful tool for many people, and as a farmer, Andrew is no different. Today, Andrew works alongside his parents on their dairy farm, and he started using social media to share the farm’s story with non-farming Ontarians. In addition, he is helping teach farmers and others working in agricultural about the value of social media on the farm.

One thought on “Every Cow Has a Name – Why Not A Name Tag?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *