Love milk? When out in the Fraser Valley, be sure to set aside time to visit the EcoDairy. Working in partnership with Vancouver’s Science World, EcoDairy educates visitors about how milk comes from the cow into the jug in your fridge.
We’ve visited the red barn for farm-fresh produce, delicious ice cream and deli sandwiches. Earlier this summer we took our first tour of the EcoDairy. The tour starts with a 10 minute video explaining how cows are cared for and milk is produced. The cartoon-video is hilarious and entertains both adults & kids alike.
After that it is off to the barn. As we all know, cows are not the cleanest animals in the world. The barn at EcoDairy is amazingly clean and that’s in large part thanks to the pooper-scooper. Just embrace it moms & dads, the kids are going to be fascinated by that contraption. The shovel-on-wheels rolls up & down the barn neatly disposing the cow paddies in a trough at the end of the barn. Impressively, EcoDairy recycles a large portion of the cows’ “presents”.
As you tour around the barn you may meet a very funny cow (frustratingly the cow’s name escapes me). You can’t miss her, she’s the one who throws hay onto her back. Don’t stand too close or you may get a hay-shower too. Don’t hurry through the tour, if you give the cows enough time they can be rather entertaining. We had one interested cow who followed us through our tour and very kindly demonstrated the cow-brush. This brilliant invention starts spinning a hard-bristled brush (think old-school car-wash brush) as soon as the cow rubs up against it. The cow can maneuver her body around to get her back, sides & head scratched. I want one!
After touring the barn, you head into observation room. From here you get to watch the robotic milker at work. My boys particularly enjoyed the fact that if I cow loiters in the milking-machine too long, the machine blasts its feet with water to get it moving. The cows are rewarded with a treat for being milked. Some cows want extra treats. However, the machine is smart enough to figure out whether it is time for a particular cow to be milked. If the cow has entered the machine too early, the water blasts the cow’s feet, and out scoots the greedy cow.
Once you’ve had your fill of watching the cows be milked, you are encouraged to explore the interactive displays in the lobby. While you wander, your tour guide will offer you a sample of their Vitala milk. It is delicious!
The interactive displays let guests try milking cows, seeing how much their weigh as compared to various animals, play with animal sounds & much more.
Admission for the EcoDairy can be found on their website.
EcoDairy in Abbotsford:
Date: Tuesdays – Sundays (Fall/Winter 2016)
Time: 10am – 4pm (Tues – Sat); 11am – 4pm (Sun)
Address: 1356 Sumas Way, Abbotsford