Fort Worth > OK
Farms: Lavon Farms (Lucky Layla)
With clear blue skies we depart relatively early from our hotel towards Lavon Farms. We make good time and are able to divert for a bit of fun at Walmart where the bus picks up snacks not available in other countries as well as items forgotten but needed.
We visit the 2nd farm of Lavon – Owned and operated by the Moore family: Jonathan, Todd, Deanna, Madison & Maxton are milking approximately 400 milking cows with a 50/50 split of Jerseys & Guernseys. They have been gracious enough to sort out the 2 breeds so that our view is uninterrupted with Golden Guernseys. With the farm being approximately 1200 acres, the operation is grazing only with a small amount of baylage. Cows are supplemented with cornmeal and a mineral additive in the ration.
Cows are milked in a 20-a-side herringbone dairy that is approximately 10 years old. The milk from the Springville site goes into the Lucky Layla farm branded products – drinking yoghurt being a delicious example. The herd average is around 4.3% Fat and 3.4% Protein, with milk around 35 pounds per day on 2x a day milking frequency.
The Moores are fans of keeping things simple, and with the pressure of hot Texan summers approaching choose to use teams of bulls to get their cows in calf as quickly as possible before the heat sets in and the temperatures climb to over 110f – whilst the Guernseys do cope with the heat better than the Jerseys, no cow likes to be hot, so cooling ponds are provided to allow the girls to cool off when the thermostat soars.
Whilst walking around the feed bunk you can’t help but enjoy the cool breeze of the shade and the high span of the roof keeping the sun off the cows. The girls are relaxed chewing their cuds waiting to be milked. We walk through the groups, with some standouts being a
4 year old Novak daughter
A 5 year old Les Jaonnets Cara’s Conqueror daughter
Daughters by Lavon Farms bulls sired by Royal Oak Royalty
9 year old sired by Sniders Option Aaron
2nd lactation Crunch daughter
Multiple neat uddered Behold daughters
Throughout all the groups observed (including the small hospital group of mastitic cows) there are no incidences of lameness – the cows all track extremely well with smooth locomotion. With the herds being grazed and having to walk substantial distances, this strong selection pressure is evident.
We’re treated to some Lucky Layla drinking yoghurt for refreshment; the Pina Colada flavour is delicious! An exchange of gifts as thank you presents to the hosts who also surprise us with goodie bags of their own. We head over to the local church and enjoy a feast of BBQ meats, home-cooked treats and Lucky Layla butter – with that distinctive golden guernsey colour and beautiful taste.
We’re then on the road again heading to Oklahoma.