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Meet Penny

Meet Penny, our school cow!
PS 28 has paired up with Discovery Dairy to adopt a baby cow (calf)!
 

Our school is participating in the Adopt A Cow Program and has adopted an actual live calf growing up on a dairy farm. Her name is Penny from Dutch Hollow Farm, located in Schodack Landing, New York . Our calf will not be living in our school but will continue to live on the farm by our host farmer. We will receive monthly updates about her through email that includes information, pictures, and videos. These updates include lessons and activities related to her growth, how she is cared for on the farm, and how milk is produced on the farm. We are excited to follow her journey on the farm while learning more about dairy farming and where milk comes from.

September

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"To kick off the Adopt A Cow program, we would like to introduce you to your host farm, the Chittenden Family at Dutch Hollow Farm! We are excited to share their farm and calves with you this school year.
 

Paul, Melanie, Brian, Alan, and Nathan Chittenden and their families, own and operate Dutch Hollow Farm in Schodack Landing, New York.  On their farm, they care for 890 milking cows on a 2,000-acre farm. As a 3rd generational farmer and daughter of a farm manager, Farmer Emily Chittenden is passionate about their farm heritage and dedicated to raising good, healthy animals. For the next 7 months, we'll connect with Farmer Emily to learn about your adopted calf and the farm she lives on. Dutch Hollow Farm is a beautiful and safe place for all their cows to live. Just look at all those cozy barns they have!

Farmer Emily and her family care deeply for their cows and land just like all dairy farmers do around the world."

October

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All About Our Calf (Baby Cow)

Name: Penny

Birthday: September 21, 2021

Gender: Heifer (Girl)

Breed of Dairy Cow: Jersey

Birth Weight: 57 Pounds
Birth Height: 27 inches

November/December

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Penny is Growing Up!

Age: 3 months

Current Weight: 100 Pounds
Current Height: 29 inches

Mom's Name: Patti

Dad's Name: Patterson

Take a look at Penny's first few months of life

Within a few hours after birth, Penny drinks colostrum and takes her first few steps in life. Colostrum is vital to jump starting Penny’s immune system.

Penny lives in her own calf hutch for the first 9 weeks after birth. This allows her to build a strong immune system before joining the herd.  Penny’s bed gets fresh shavings weekly. Shavings keep Penny clean and warm. She also has food and fresh water to eat and drink.

Penny is given an Ear Tag at birth for identification, just like this one. Her herd number is 8758. This is just like humans getting their ears pierced.

Dutch Hollow Farm uses dehorning paste that is rubbed on at the buds of the horn to prevent horn growth for the safety of the other animals and humans.

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Meet Penny's Mom

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Name: Patti

Age: 2 years old

Height: 49 inches

Weight: 950 pounds

Patti produces 70 pounds or 8 ½ gallons of milk everyday!

 Patti and her herdmates live in a Free Stall Barn. Click Here to learn more about Free Stall Barns. Patti has a comfy bed that is filled with soft sand. Sand is comfortable for her joints, and it is like being on the beach every day! The barn has giant fans that keep the cows cool in the summertime. Fresh air is important to Patti’s health. During the summer months, the barn is often 10 degrees cooler than outside!

Meet Penny's Caretaker

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Meet Farmer Emily. She works on Dutch Hollow Farm and takes care of Penny. Dutch Hollow Farm is owned and operated by Paul, Melanie, Brian, Alan, and Nathan Chittenden in Schodack Landing, New York. Farmer Emily is a daughter of the owner. Their 2,000-acre dairy farm was established in 1976. Here they raise over 890 dairy cows and 650 calves and heifers. 

January/February

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Name: Penny

Age: 3 Months Old

Weight: 266 Pounds

Height: 36.5 inches

Look how BIG Penny has grown! At just 3 months old, she is as tall as a 2nd grader!

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Penny's Health

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Penny’s Health is Important

Proactive daily care is key to keeping Penny and her herd mates happy and healthy!

Vaccinations

Penny was vaccinated at 2 months old and will be again at 4.5 months old to protect her from getting harmful diseases.

Penny's Diet

  • Now that Penny is older, she eats food that has more fiber to help develop the different compartments in her stomach.

  • Penny enjoys a sweet grain pellet mix which gives her a lot of energy and helps her digestive system develop.

  • Hay is added to Penny’s diet because it is a high-fiber food which is perfect for her growth and diet. She can eat as much hay and drink as much water as she wants!

Penny's New Housing

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Emily Chittenden - Penny at feedbunk
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Group Housing

  • Penny now lives with a few of her herd mates in a new group pen. She loves hanging out with her new buddies!

  • Penny sleeps on sawdust bedding which helps to keep her clean, dry, and very warm!

  • Penny and her friends live together because it is easier to monitor growth, feed intake, and see signs of sickness.

Let's Check on Penny's Mom

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Patti

  • Patti continues to produce delicious and healthy milk each day for all of us to enjoy!

  • Patti was bred artificially to become pregnant and have another calf. She was confirmed pregnant at 60 days.

  • Patti will be milked for 5 more months and then go on vacation for 2 months. Penny is going to have a little sister at the end of August! 

  • Do you have siblings? What are their names? 

April/May

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Name: Penny

Age: 5 Months Old

Weight: 382 Pounds

Height: 40 inches

Look how BIG Penny has grown! At 5 months old she is the same weight as a motorcycle or a lion. 

Penny's Housing and Diet

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Group Housing

  • Penny is now in a larger group with her herdmates, like how your classroom size got bigger from pre-school to elementary school. She will live with these herdmates until she is a prefresh cow

  • Penny now eats heifer TMR. This is made of corn silage, haylage and custom mineral mix that continues to help develop her four stomach compartments

  • She is eating more hay every day - 10 - 12 pounds daily. That's the same as 40 hamburgers!

Penny's Future

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Penny will become a Mom

  • At 2 years old Penny will have a baby. About 2 months before Penny is due to to have her baby she will be moved to the dry cow pasture and pen where she can graze and eat a special TMR (Total Mix Ration). This is made of corn silage, haylage, and custom mineral mix that continues to help develop her four stomach compartments. This TMR is perfect for growing a strong baby.

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Having a Baby

  • Once Penny is 2 weeks away from her due date, she is moved again to an indoor pen so Farmer Emily can keep a close eye on her, preparing for her to have her calf.

  • After she gives birth, the cycle of life starts all over again for her calf, and Penny finally joins the milking herd to become a productive member of Dutch Hollow Farm!

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How do we get milk?

Life as a Milking Cow

  • In “adulthood” as a milking cow, Penny will be milked twice a day in the milking parlor. The milking process only takes 5 to 10 minutes.

From Cow to You​

  • After Penny is milked, the milk travels through clean pipes and is stored in the bulk tank to be kept cold until the milk truck picks up the milk. 

  • The milk truck will take the milk to the processing plant to be pasteurized and get it ready to drink! From the plant, the milk will get sent to grocery stores, schools, restaurants, and more where people can enjoy it!  

Meet Penny and Farmer Emily

"Thank you for loving Penny and learning about dairy farms" - Farmer Emily

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