Friday, August 12, 2011

A Dairy Good Time!

Nothing beats a good Day-cation.  Today's destination: Fair Oaks Farms

I have been wanting to go here for years.  It is right off of interstate 65 between Chicago and Indy.  We had driven past it several times, and it just looked so fun!  Believe me, we were not disappointed!  We experienced a 4-D movie all about life on the farm.  We then walked through a forest, a corn field in the harvesting process, and an old time dairy farm.  So fun! 

How appropriate we rode in a bus painted like a dairy cow!

Next we took a bus tour out to the dairy barns.  We saw the HUGE milking carousel.  This resembled a very large merry go round.  There were 72 cows able to be milked at one time.  The cow walks into a stall and someone below cleans the teets then the electric milker is attached.  They are milked as the whole carousel moves in a circle.  It never stops moving, but when the cow returns to the beginning she backs out of her stall and is ushered back to her place in the barn.  It was one of the neatest things I have ever seen.  Fair Oaks is one of the largest dairy farms in the United States.  40 tanker trucks pick up daily producing 250,000 gallons of milk.  Not bad for a day's work.

We stopped into the cafe to refuel.  We had a grilled cheese sandwich with cheese made on site.  We also had fresh ice cream.  I had the butter pecan and it was the BEST ice cream I've eaten in a long time.  So creamy.
Molly enjoyed some ice cream too.

The kids then had some play time outside.  There was so much to do!!  Their favorites were the electric tractor.

After playing outside for awhile, we headed into the birthing barn.  When we 1st arrived, 2 mommas were resting easy with babies by their side.  But before too long, a first time momma cow was escorted into the barn.  We had the privilege of watching her bring not one....but 2 babies into the Fair Oaks Family.  That's right!  Twins!

They were born about 20 minutes apart.  The 2nd twin had a little trouble.  She had to have some assistance in getting her out, and the farmer performed C.P.R (including mouth-to-mouth) to get the little calf to breathe.  The whole place cheered when the new little calf began to move and kick.  The mother then spent lots of time cleaning her little calves and encouraging them to get up and move.  The kids really enjoyed seeing the baby calves come into the world.  They befriended an older couple in their early 70's and the 4 of them really got into the whole process.  It was really a great experience!

We had a great day.  We took our time, did everything we wanted, some things even twice and stayed until almost closing.  We all decided that we want to go back and do it all again some time soon.  Day-cation a success!!

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