As most of you will have seen, September was exceptionally wet. The cows have milked really well but now is the time for them to put on condition which will keep them fit and well during the winter and at an optimum weight for calving in February.
There are a number of ways we help cows put on condition: reducing them from two milkings a day to just one; feeding them extra silage or drying them off completely which means no milking at all.
Once cows are dried off we then transition them onto the fodder beet. They’re not walking as far because they’re not being milked so all the energy that normally goes into producing milk goes into putting on weight and growing their calves instead.
The one downside for the farm is that grass growth slows down significantly from October onwards and we need to supplement the cows’ diet with more silage and corn. At our peak we’re growing 100kg of grass per hectare per day. This drops to just 3-4 kg a day in December so supplementing the cows’ diet is vital.