Last updated: Monday, January 21, 2019


Cow Stories at TH Farm

Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It took nearly 5 hours to drive from Hanoi to Nghia Dan district, southwest of NgheAn province. Quite tired after a long journey though, we felt very comfortable to see immense sunflowers blooming and joyful dairy cows immersed in the melodious music.

From tending milk cows

The sunflower field, covering over 100 ha in Nghia Dan district, is managed by TH Farm. Agronomist Ta DinhTro said TH Farm this year grew sunflowers in two places: Along Ho Chi Minh Road and Farm 3. The blossoming sunflower field is inducing thousands of people of all ages here to watch the charming scene and take memorable photos with flowers. It looks like a European field inside Nghe An province. The field also helps increase incomes for support services such as restaurant, hotel and others.

However, it is little known that the unparalleled flower field grown by TH Farm feeds cows on the one hand and shapes a charismatic landscape and ecological environment on the other. When the whole sunflower plant (including the trunk, leaves and seeds) are ground and fermented to be silage for dairy cattle, it becomes a unique delicious feed for cows. Supplemented with Omega 3 essential oils, the fodder will help cows produce more milk and add protein value in the silage by 8 - 16 per cent in comparison with maize (maize has 8 per cent of protein while sunflower has 16 per cent). And, that is one of the secrets to make the TH cow herd to produce fresh organic milk that gathers true essences of nature to shape TH true MILK brand as Madam Thai Huong, President of TH Group, has repeatedly told the press “Treasure Mother Mature, who will give us all.”

On the same day we visited the feed processing facility powered by Omega3 supplement method. We were really overwhelmed by feed grinders and thoroughness in every drop of milk. TH nutritionist Vi Thi Thu Hang said, TH Farm is growing Mulanto II grass, MombasaGuinea grass, sorghum, maize and sunflower among others to create sources of forage, silage with 12-16 delicious dishes for dairy cows. At present, thousands of tonnes of feed are mixed daily at feeding centres and distributed to every cow shed.

At the feed processing centre, feed rationing, blending, processing and distribution are totally automated under the consultation and operation of Israeli nutritionists. The entire cow rationing programme is based on One-1 and Ration All software technology from Israel.

For make an optimal formulation for each cow group, all feeds are sent for analysis at the US Dairy One Forage Laboratory - the world's most famous laboratory for dairy cattle analysis) and French laboratory Invivo in Binh Duong province. Mixed feeds are also sent for re-analysis.

In dairy farming, feed is very important to milk quality. TH Group is working with Dairy One to set up TH Lab, a satellite laboratory of Dairy One in Southeast Asia, to actively test cow feeds. (TH Farm now has a modern laboratory capable of analysing various indicators).

According to nutritionists, Omega 3 fatty acids, which consist of ALA, FPA and DHA, are essential amino acids for body growth. For kids, Omega 3 is good for eye and brain health. For adults, it is good for heart health. With the goal of producing Omega 3-rich dairy products for consumers, TH Group is testing an increase in Omega 3 content in milk by adopting natural Omega 3-rich foods for dairy cows to take fresh raw milk with a higher Omega 3 ratio than normal. In addition to sunflower trunks and seeds, some foods rich in Omega 3 such as flaxseed are being added to cow feeds. These Omega 3-rich feeds are being separated and blended in the Feed Processing Centre 2
Reportedly, the pilot cow farming site is situated in Farm 4 where 2,400 first cows enjoy Omega-3 rich forage. If the test goes fine, TH Group will replicate this model to the entire herd there. The first-phase test results showed that Omega 3 content in raw milk from TH dairy farms is about three times as high as ordinary milk.

In the market, there are many types of Omega 3-added milk. Unlike other brands that directly add Omega 3 to milk, TH Group uses a different way of naturally supplementing Omega 3 into feeds to have pure natural Omega 3-rich fresh milk, which is suitable for the body's absorption. By applying advanced farming methods and supplementing nutritious silages for cows, TH Group has pioneered in improving fresh milk quality in a purely natural way.

To milking - the main task

TH farm clusters in Nghe An province are built at least 10 km from each other in Nghia Dan district. Farm 3 is located in Cluster 1, home to more than 5,000 dairy cows, including over 2,500 milking cows. Music and massage are available for cows here.

In a conversation with us, Trong, deputy manager of Cluster 1, said that TH farms own the most modern milking systems in Vietnam, particularly the milking parlour in Farm 3. The system accommodates 3,000 cows a day with three milking shifts. Each shift simultaneously serves 120 cows.

One clear difference between TH true MILK products from other milk brands in Vietnam lies in milking and preservation. Cows are bathed and cooled before entering the fully automated milking parlour. Cow udders carry four vacuum nipples and their feet wear Perometer chips which send all information about the cow to the signal box at the milking centre and update it to the computer. Milk is tubed into tanks by stainless steel pipe system. Then, it is conveyed to filter hoppers, each of which has four filter cups and a filter net. After passing through the filter system, it is flowed into a stainless steel pipe system installed with thin zinc sheets connected to central coolers. When passing through zinc leafs, the milk is suddenly cooled to below 4oC and immediately transferred to storage tanks and transported to milk factories for processing.

Thus, from milking to consumers, no air is penetrated into milk. It means that no harmful bacteria can enter the liquid. Cows are specially cared in one month before being milked.

At present, TH Group has developed more than 60 kinds of products made from fresh milk, including fresh pasteurised/pasteurised milk, yogurt drink, fresh formula, butter, cheese and cream. After nearly seven years of operation, TH Group has been the leading supplier of clean milk in Vietnam, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the market share of fresh milk. Madam Thai Huong, President of TH Group, said that TH Group will endeavour to qualify and quantify the quality of TH true MILK fresh organic milk in the market.

Le Hien

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