In an effort to yield the freshest dairy product possible, Contoocook Creamery milk is processed right on the farm. It is pumped from our milk tank directly to the processing plant through an overhead pipe. This means milk can go from the cow straight to your family’s table in under 72 hours!
Feeding and Cow Comfort
At Contoocook Creamery, we believe if we take care of the cows, the cows will take care of us. Our philosophy is, in order for cows to be properly cared for, they require many of the same necessities for health and happiness as us.
Therefore, one of our biggest priorities is our cows’ diet. Like people, cows need a balanced, consistent food supply. This is why our girls have access to food and water 24 hours a day, and our milking cows eat 13 tons of feed every day. Their diet is created by a dairy nutritionist, who visits the farm bi-weekly to take feed samples. We send samples of our grass and corn silage—which makes up about 50% of the cows’ diet—to a laboratory to have it analyzed for protein, energy and mineral content. It is then our nutritionist’s job to balance the feed with added grains and minerals.
Furthermore, we pride ourselves on providing a comfortable home for our cows. Our barns have no walls, only roofs. This allows for maximum airflow and limits risk of respiratory disease. Their beds are bedded in deep sand or sawdust, and are raked, cleaned and leveled daily. We also ensure our cows keep cool during the summer through the installation of water sprinklers and fans.
Another way we keep the cows comfortable is by having a hoof trimmer come to the farm four–eight times a year to “give the ladies pedicures.” During the warmer months, the cows have a foot bath they walk through twice a day.
Not only are the calves the cutest part of the farm, but they also represent its future. That’s why we prioritize raising our calves in pens of three, with warm milk available to them 24 hours a day. Heather has spent most of her life raising calves and takes great pride in working with others to keep these babies healthy and happy.
We farm about 500 acres of land across Contoocook, Hopkinton, Webster and Concord. This land provides the grass and corn which make up a little over 60% of what the cows eat.
Growing feed while improving the soil is our goal. The farm has been in the family for five generations and is still going strong. We work closely with our crop consultant, UNH Cooperative Extension, and USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service to learn and adhere to their Best Management Practices (BMP). These practices include soil sampling, a nutrient management plan (for manure), pest scouting, no-till planting, cover cropping and more.
We believe it's important for people to know where their food comes from, that is why the farm is open for visitors. Feel free to come out and visit with the cows and dogs when grabbing some milk, beef, or vegetables at the farm store.