Winter has certainly arrived in earnest here at Sansaw, the colder and darker mornings are making it harder to get out of bed! however, the dairy teams day starts at the much more sociable time of 7h30 am due to all our ladies being dry, and having a well-earned break from milking.
We dried off most of our cows during the last week of November apart from those ladies who had taken milking far too seriously and looked like they needed a longer rest and left for their annual leave in October.
All this drying off means only one thing …………… outwintering on the fodder beet. The cows love the sugary treat and once they acquire the taste for it there is no stopping them. As with most things sweet there is a down side, the dairy team spend a good few hours a day trudging through endless fields of mud. This does however provide a bit of comic relief when one of our team members striding across the beet lose their wellie as it is sucked from their feet. We have one particularly tall member who has managed to lose both wellies mid stride and has ended up standing ankle deep in just his socks. Although English is not his first language, he does manage to vocalise his displeasure in a language we all understand.
All our pregnant heifers are now also sampling the sugary delicacy, which is fodder beet, and although it takes them a little longer to aquire the taste once they have it, they can’t get enough so we have to restrict their intake. Our yearling heifers have the luxury of being indoors for the winter, they have a huge straw bed and freshly mixed food brought to them every morning by either Josh or Martin, so all they have to do is concentrate on growing so that they too can take their rightful place in the milking herd.