Wednesday, April 13, 2016


These last 2 days were much less eventful: mostly long stretches of driving. We crossed Ohio without stopping and camped near Indianapolis. Then we continued on our way to Gary in northern Indiana, stopping at the Fair Oaks Farms, a large dairy farm that offers tours. The odometer reports 5567 miles / 8959 km driven.

The dairy farm was somewhat sad because it was very industrial-looking: cows spend practically all their lives crowded together in this gigantic hangar and do not have access to pasture lands.

Calves are kept separate from their mothers because at their young age their immune system is not sufficiently developed to withstand some of the pathogens circulating  in the crowded areas with the older cows.

Carousel where the cows are milked. The commentary we were given sounded very 1984-esque. Imagine a person saying a sentence that sounds memorized and in an overly cheery way: "Our animals are milked 3 times per day. They absolutely LOVE the carousel because they love routine. The amount of milk produced by each cow is sent to a central computer. If an animal does not produce enough milk, it will be investigated."

Worker attaching a milking machine to a cow on the carousel.

Cows about to give birth are brought to this area where the public can witness the birth. The farm has so many cows that a handful of births occur every day. This particular cow gave birth about 1 hour after we saw her.

When learning she just gave birth we came back and here she is with her <1 hour old calf. The calf will spend about 1 hour with the mom then separated.

The weather became colder and colder as we approached Gary, with intermittent short-lived snowstorms.

The next morning we were greeted with a little bit of snow on the ground.

Next stop: Wisconsin!

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