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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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February 19, 2010

Why Do Bulls Terrify Me? - Just Look At Him! & Apple Bacon Pancakes

Holstein bulls and cows are the most popular breed of cattle in the world. They were first bred in The Netherlands and then brought to America in 1857. Holsteins are known for their amazing milk-producing ability. We normally have one or two Holstein bulls on the ranch. This one is taking care of his 'harem', the heifers. A bull's primary job is to breed heifers and cows. He's a busy boy! On the ranch we also artificially inseminate cows, when I say we, I mean Dominic and my father in law, George and that process, I'll save for another blog post. I will not go into the pasture if the bull is anywhere near. He terrifies me, just look at him........They can become very protective of their girls. All cows and bulls have 4 digestive compartments. The first compartment (stomach) is called the rumen. The rumen holds up to 50 gallons of partially digested food. While grazing good bacteria in the rumen helps digest the cows food by breaking it down which then provides protein for the cow. After the food is processed and softened in the rumen, it is regurgitated. This regurgitated substance is called the cud and is chewed again. Most cows chew at least 50 times per minute. The chewed cud is then swallowed and goes directly to the second chamber called the reticulum. This compartment is often called the hardware stomach because if the cow accidentally eats hardware (like a piece of fencing scrap), it will often lodge here causing no further damage. In the reticulum additional digesting occurs with the help of the good bacteria before the food is passed to the third compartment or omasum. Digestion continues in this compartment were more nutrients are removed. Finally in the last compartment, the abomasums, the digestion process continues much in the same way our stomachs digest food. The four stomachs and the intestine of the cow are covered with thousands of blood vessels. During the digestion process the liquid nutrients, which are chemically produced by the digestion process are transferred to the blood stream. Any waste material is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys and the nutrient-rich blood moves to the veins of the udder. As the blood passes through the veins of the udder, mammary glands remove the nutrients, fat, and other valuable life-sustaining elements and store them as milk in the udder itself. An estimated 500 gallons of blood must pass through the udder to make one gallon of milk. The milk is then removed from the udder either by a calf or the dairy farmer. It take approximately 340-350 squirts from a cow's teats to make a gallon of milk. Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup If you like apple pancakes and you like bacon, you’ll love the taste of these sweet, smoky pancakes. All these wonderful flavors rolled into one. Any kind of apple works well. A quick cider syrup drizzled on top enhances the apple flavor. Ingredients 1/2 cup apple cider 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 large egg 1 large egg white 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk 1 medium apple, peeled and finely diced, (about 1 cup) 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided Preparation 1.Combine cider, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. 2.Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a small bowl. Whisk egg, egg white and buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients, apples and bacon until just combined. (The batter will be thick.) 3.Brush a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat until hot. Cooking 4 at a time, use about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and gently spread it to make them about 3 inches in diameter. Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Reheat the cider syrup, if desired, and serve with the pancakes. Tips & Notes Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the syrup (Step 1) for up to 1 week. Reheat on low before serving. Nutrition Per serving: 256 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 2 g fiber; 465 mg sodium; 165 mg potassium. 3 Carbohydrate Serving
What's your favorite Saturday morning breakfast?
Happy Friday! Cheers! Pin It


An Authentic Life said...

Hey wimpy...if I can live with mountain lions, moose and bear, than you can muster the courage for a friendly little farm bull!!!

Adam Cavanagh said...

I'm hungry now :)

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Katie, Yes, I'm a BIG whimp! As for mountain lions....I've seen a few around here and they also terrify me, moose......never seen one in person, bear......once had one board the houseboat I was on to find a midnight snack. Hopefully no more future encounters!

TnTConnect said...

hmmmm, I must be a HUGE whimp! I will not allow any bull on the farm over 10 months of age. They are extremely dangerous and not predictable at all! I will take my chances with the mountain lions, bears, moose and wolves (I used to live in Alaska). Much safer if you ask me. All my cows are bred AI, THANK GOD!