From late spring to October our cows live out in the fields. From November through the winter they're inside warm dry barns.
A Summer's Day
- Early in the morning, before sunrise, the cows hear the farmer begining the working day. As soon as the cows hear that sound they know it's time to get up (literally, as they do sleep lying down!)
- The cows are ready to be milked, and they head naturally over to the milking parlour. No herding is necessary as it's where they want to be.
- They have a bit of a wash when they first go into the parlour. This keeps them nice and clean and helps the milk flow.
- Next, the milking machine is switched on and the cows respond to the familiar hum - they know the routine.
- After milking, the cows head out and can munch on some 'cattle cake' (cattle feed containing a mixture of grains and nutrients) before going back to grazing in a different field.
- 4pm - Afternoon milking begins - with exactly the same pattern as 12 hours earlier.
Life in Winter
- Inside the barns, the cows have their own favourite sleeping and feeding areas; they're real creatures of habit. Our cows sleep on comfy rubber mats topped with a good layer of sawdust to keep them cosy. Cows expecting calves get even more comfort with clean straw to sleep on.
- There's plenty of space inside the barn for mooching about, and we've even installed special brushes for our Jerseys which switch on when the cows move against them. The cows love to get a brush down and a bit of a massage!
- Feeding the cows the right mixture is important during winter; ours tuck into silage (naturally fermented cut grass - delicious to cows) along with barley and wheat. Our local whisky distillery supplies us with 'draff' - a mixture of brewer's grains for added flavour! The cows also get roughage by munching on hay.
- As soon as grass starts growing in the spring, it's back out to pasture and more happy grazing.