Is working on a dairy farm hard? What is it like to work on a dairy farm from the early mornings till late in the evenings? If you drink milk or consume other dairy products every day as I do, I bet sometimes you are also curious about the jobs of people making this nutritious food.
Eager to find out? Read on as I explore more in this article!
Is Working On A Dairy Farm Hard?
Yes, it is. An average dairy farm day usually starts at 4-5 AM and it will not end until 6 PM or even later. Sometimes you have to be on the farms at 3:30 in the morning to feed calves before starting the morning milking at 6.
Let’s now get into more details on how hard the work of a dairy farmer is.
It’s physically demanding
Working for long hours makes this job difficult. It’s heavy manual work, and if you haven’t worked on a dairy farm before, it can take weeks or months for your body to get used to it.
Chances are you will experience aches and pains as working on a dairy farm involves many manuals and heavy-lifting tasks. Your lower back will probably suffer the most, while other joints like knees and wrists are less common. However, after getting used to it, the pains will just become a part of your life on the farm.
Calves are cute, but they’re not easy to work with
Baby cows are cute, but they’re also seriously hard work. Dairy farmers need to teach them how to eat from the feeder, and this talk involves getting hold of them onto the feeder until they’re able to do it themselves.
This can be a long process that requires patience, as you will have to make sure every calf is eating properly during each feed. When they’re ill, you will have to take care of them. Watching them prancing around is lovely, but these babies take a lot of looking after.
There are no days off
Since the cows need to be milked twice a day every day, no matter what, there are no days off. You can find yourself going to the farm at night to check on necessary things, then keep working till midnight on other paperwork, and still carry on working the next day on the farm.
You’re exposed to hazards
There are many confined spaces on dairy farms, including milk vats, tanks, pits, or feed silos. These places have unique hazards, like dangerous atmospheres or engulfment. You might have to suffocate yourself in an environment where gas from refrigerants or various types of cleaning fluids can leak into the vat.
It can be mentally draining
Dairy farming is more profitable than crops growing. However, livestock involves more risks than corn, soybeans, oats, and the likes. Given this, there are years when you might not produce as much, so be prepared to not have a consistent paycheck.
The dairy business is volatile, and dairy farmers’ income is strongly affected by big swings in milk prices. The reasons can be the lower amount of milk that people drink. Besides, the negative effects of bad weather on wheat fields can also destroy the food sources for cows.
Read more: What Percentage Of Americans Are Farmers?
Is working on a dairy farm hard? The answer is a straight yes. However, if you love working with animals, enjoy the beautiful countryside, and have a chance to drink fresh milk every day, then this can be your dream job.
During break seasons, you can even spend some time exploring places off the beaten track to enjoy the breathtaking views of where you live. Doesn’t that sound nice?