When does a farm become a factory farm?
Fifty-one cows? 201 cows? 301 cows? 501 cows? If it does not allow pasture access?
It is a meaningless phrase. Nothing happens to cows on a big dairy that does not happen on small ones. I have been on small dairies that have disastrously bad animal welfare and environmental management. All abuses are not on large farms.
Is a tie stall barn on a small dairy better for cows than a well-managed large freestall dairy? In fact, large farms are subject to a lot more regulatory scrutiny than small ones and have more people and capital to make improvements than small ones.
We should point this out to our critics, as was the case in the Hoard’s Dairyman Intel “Are factory farms a bad thing?”
Walt Guterbock, D.V.M.