Dairy, and more specifically, milk is a very popular beverage and that’s a good thing. Milk shows up in nearly every recipe that involves baking. It also turns up in soups, sauces and pasta. For kids, milk is a staple that promotes good health. The older we get the more often we fall out of the milk drinking habit, which is a shame. These fun dairy facts might inspire you to pour your self a cold glass of milk.


According to the anthropologist wonks, around the mid 1800s, the majority of families living in rural areas had their own cows for milking. Once the industrial age came along, then the factory approach to milk producing kicked into high gear and there was no longer such a pressing need for your own heifer.

The typical dairy cow can crank out 6.3 gallons of milk every day. That breaks down to around 350,000 glasses of milk over the course of a cow’s lifetime. To make all that milk, a cow has to chow down on 100 pounds of food and drink 50 gallons of water every day. If we drank as much water, the it would be around 800 glasses. Clearly, you’ll never see a cow go on a diet.

Making Moo Juice Stuff

In the grand scheme of things, a cow is far more valuable for their milk production than they would be for the beef. After all, once the hamburgers are gone you’ve got nothing left. Whereas the milking can go on for years.

Although we buy milk by the gallon and other liquid measurements, farmers measure by the pound. A gallon of milk weighs in at around 8.6 pounds. As for making milky stuff, it takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese, 21 pounds of milk to make one pound of butter and 12 pounds of milk for one gallon of ice cream. Now you know why they’re always milking those cows.

Speaking of “always milking,” there is no such thing as a day off at dairy farm. Not only are cows milked every day but sometimes two to three times a day. The milk needs to flow!

More Cow Facts

As far as spending goes, we fork over $75 billion each year on dairy products. Yes, this is a big business. Right now, there are around 13 million cows in the country. Each of those cows weighs in at around 1,400 pounds. That is just shy of a ton of an animal. A dairy cow can only produce milk after they’ve had a baby calf. That gets the proverbial ball rolling.

Thirsty for a glass of milk now?