Dakin Dairy, Myakka City
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Dakin Dairy is a cute, clean, real working dairy with 1,400 cows! Here you can take a 1 1/2 hour tour and see the entire process by which the farm produces milk! It is unusual and interesting to get to be a part of this. School-aged kids enjoy learning about this, and after the tour my daughter wanted to buy their chocolate milk (which is the 365 brand of chocolate milk at Whole Foods) whenever we were at the store. Although the farm is not certified organic, they don't use any pesticides on the grass that they feed the cows.
At the beginning of the tour, you walk over to where the cows rest in their stalls, then to the milking stations. It takes eight hours to milk all the cows, and the process is repeated three times a day. Therefore, the workers are busy 24 hours a day! The cows are milked by machines, and it's interesting to see that they walk over to their station without being led. You then see the nice clean rooms where the milk is pasteurized and processed. Afterwards you take a hay ride (sitting in hay on a truck bed) to see where the pregnant cows sit in a pasture and to see the fields where the grass feed is grown. If you're lucky you may see a calf being born. Next you can cheer piglets (they are so cute) in a pig race and feed calves with huge baby bottles! Watch out for fire ants in this area- I was stung.
Lastly, you get to make cream, and to taste some chocolate milk in a grove of trees where kids can play on the slides or climb a giant hill of dirt. It's a lot of fun!
The gift shop has toys and snacks, including hot picnic lunches that you can buy and eat on the picnic table out front in the breeze. The food is not gourmet but it's handy since there aren't that many other places nearby to eat and the tours are around lunchtime.
Wear closed toe shoes if you can to avoid ant bites or other hazards.
To see more cute animals including a wonderful manatee who kisses the glass in front of you, visit Marine Mote Lab Aquarium, 41 minutes away.
Dakin Dairy is located at 30771 Betts Rd, Myakka City FL 34251, call (941) 322-2802.
Tours are Wed-Fri at noon, and Sat at 10, noon, and 3pm. Tours are only available from October to the first week of June.
Cost for tour is $15 each. Kids under 2 years old can tour for free. No reservations necessary.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.