Southwest Regional Dairy Center
Mission: Provide enabling infrastructure support for teaching, research, and service/outreach programs to meet the need of higher education, the dairy industry and society in Texas and the southwest.
Cows at the Southwest Regional Dairy Center are milked 3 times daily on a 24-cow rotary milking parlor. Each milking session lasts for approximately 9 minutes while the cow makes one full rotation on the parlor. This type of parlor can help improve efficiency by keeping workers on a timed pace as well as provide a stress free environment for cows. Additionally, visitors to the dairy are able to observe the milking process from a safe distance.
Cows spend the remainder of their time in barns called free-stall barns. This type of barn provides an individual bed for each of our 300 cows. The bed is filled with either clean sand or specially designed cow mattresses.
In order to support milk production, dairy cows consume more than 50 pounds of feed per day. Feed for dairy cows at the Southwest Regional Dairy Center consists of high quality hays, corn, oats, and other grains as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. Fresh feed and clean water is available to cows 24 hours per day only a few steps from her free-stall bed.
An additional benefit of free-stall housing is the ability to cool cows during the warmer months of the year.