I know I always seem to end up talking about the weather, but we get such a lot of it and it plays a big part in our lives! Today, weather wise it has been rather tempestuous and it’s still blowing well. It was forecasted Force 9 to Severe Gale Force 10 here on the shipping forecast this morning on Radio 4 (I heard it because my better half got up for milking before the alarm and left me to stagger in the dark to switch it off, I put the radio on instead!) Driving through Douglas today on an errand before the heavy rain set in was like driving through a blizzard made of leaves, freed from their moorings!
On the farm we are still calving well. Heifer, number P169 was born this evening, by Garrett. We are at present waiting for the colustrum to warm!
The whole silage bale feeding in the sheds to the milking cows seems to be working well. There is no longer any sorting of the silage and they seem much more settled, having food on tap all of the time. The ‘out of parlour’ feeders have now been fine tuned by ATL., all we need is the cows to use them properly! We are training the dry cows giving just a taste and they seem to spend all day trying to extract a few pellets, so were wondering whether (after milk recording due later this week) to take the main percentage of cake off the high yielders on the parlour and see if this would tempt them more into the stations. I have tried the ‘shake the bucket’ routine behind the feeders, but got mobbed by the same 20 that were visiting the feeders, one of them recorded at 32 visits in a day!!!
How cows are motivated by food!! We have the story related to us by our senior herdsman, now verified by my husband, of a cow that on finding the rotary platform stopped occasionally, before she can get on and reach the point where the feeder drops her food, will pull the the wire to get the parlour going again!!!! It makes you think? Perhaps they aren’t so thick?!!!
By the way, P170 has just been born and we are having to warm more colustrum before we can go to bed……….