It’s the age-old question: “Tell me, Dairy Man, where do cows come from?”
To find the answer, the Dairy Man forced encouraged me to watch the “Dairy Cow Midwife” episode of Dirty Jobs. Needless to say, my delicate sensibilities will never be the same.
I may be a farm wife, but there are certain aspects to my husband’s job that I don’t want to know anything about. Before that fateful episode of Dirty Jobs, I had some vague ideas about artificial insemination but had always managed to push those disturbing thoughts out of mind. The less I knew the better. I wouldn’t be forced to ask questions I didn’t want the answer to, such as “WHERE does the breeder stick his arm?!?”
The process of birds and bees on a dairy farm is not quite like it used to be. Dairy farms of old had a bull or two running around the farm to turn on the charm and make cow babies.
But in modern dairy farming, this method of reproduction is highly inefficient. Or so the Dairy Man tells me. You can’t control genes, desirable traits, success rates, milk production. Because, of course, we want super-awesome high-producing wonder cows. Bulls are dangerous and modern farming can do better. We don’t want just any Joe Bovine impregnating our ladies.
So, what’s a farmer to do? Buy high-quality sperm for use in artificial insemination of course. Yes. There are entire companies dedicated to the sale of baby-making liquid for cattle. And the Dairy Man wears their hats.
This knowledge is an example of a fact I wish I didn’t know. But alas, one cannot be a dairy farmer’s wife without losing some innocence. I also know where hamburgers come from. Traumatizing, eh? Welcome to my life.