The Best Day Of The Year!!
What an incredibly long winter we seem to have had! Many people have come to The Milk Shed over this period talking about the fact that we haven’t had three dry days together since August and blimey don’t we know it.
Dairy cows in the UK need to be housed over winter. As the days shorten grass growth declines and then halts and ground conditions get worse due to increasingly wet weather meaning that the pastures can no longer carry the cows and they begin to poach (farmer speak for getting very boggy and muddy!) At this point we bring the cows inside where they live in comfortable straw yards and beds with cow mattresses until spring arrives.
This year we have had a longer wait than usual with ‘The Beast from The East’, ‘The Pest from The West’ etc. Those storms dealt us some really difficult conditions to farm in, particularly ‘The Beast’ where we had no running water around the farm for a few days, having to thaw pipes with kettles just to be able to milk and carrying water in buckets from the one tap we thawed to most of the youngstock for a few days.
But thank goodness it now looks as though spring may have sprung. The cows returned to their pasture for the first time on Friday and what a pleasure it was to see them go. It’s always the best day of the year for us to see the girls go skipping back into the field. They run, jump and play fight their way through the first fifteen minutes or so before they get back into the old habit of grazing.
The girls are creatures of habit and like to follow tracks they have made in the field, ‘the cow motorway’ as our little boy calls it. Here is a picture of one of our beautiful Jerseys, Grandious Lacey on the cow motorway. It’s a path forged by some years’ worth of footprints following the same route. There are a few of these time-served paths in each field from different directions heading towards the gate. It’s a cow thing.