The weather presents most of the challenge at this time of year. With the daylight decreasing and the temperature dropping, the grass growth starts to slow. During the month of October, we continue to graze our cows day and night at New Moor farm thanks to the work and planning that has gone in during the late summer months.
As summer comes to an end, we allow our grass fields to grow without worry as silage for the winter months has already been cut and collected earlier in the year. This process is done so that when September ends, we would have enough grass across our farm to ration out for the cows in through winter.
This means our cows are kept outside where they are happy and stops us having to use tractors and machinery to feed and clean up after them. On top of that, the cows are only milked once a day instead of twice. A step that makes sense for all of as. As a spring calving herd, they naturally produce less milk at this time of the year. The reduced walking in and out to get milked also means they gain weight, which helps keep them warm and ready for winter.
While the cows are in the fields and the milking parlour is silent for the afternoon, we use this time to focus on other jobs in preparation for winter. At the moment, we are busy getting the cow sheds ready for November when the herd will start to sleep in the sheds. The young stock we rear on the farm are moved from grazing grass onto a field of turnips which will keep them fed through November and December. As we wait for the turnips to come, our calves who will celebrate their 1st birthday in February are kept out on the grass fields with the addition of hay bales to supplement their ever growing appetite.