Winter is here with a blast of chilly air and giving the farm even more work to an already hectic schedule. Cows drink between more than 10 gallons of water a day (lots more in summer) so keeping all the water tanks full is absolutely vital for their well being. With the temperature showing minus 8c when my sister got up to milk it was unsurprising that most of mornings for the last week have involved defrosting pipes and tanks and carting water to the cows, calves and stables until all the pipes where back running.
We had quiet Christmas but a bit of a stressful New Year with fireworks upsetting the younger cows. Our girls are quite chilled and we haven’t had any problems for some years, but we always keep a close eye on them at New Year and 5th November just in case. They can be spooked by loud bangs if a firework goes off near the cow sheds. Like all herd animals if one runs they all do. This year unfortunately was one of those times and one of our two year old heifers slipped and injured herself. We thought she might have broken her leg on first look but thankfully she was just a bit bruised and bashed. She is back completely fit and healthy again now which is a great relief.
In the dairy, we have done our final milk run test and hope to have the whole milk in the vending machine after we get that test result in about 10 days. We have got the cream consistency to the extra thickness we wanted and that is now being tested too.
On the cheese side we have been taste testing how the soft cheese works with a variety of herbs. We are just waiting for shelf life testing on the cheese and then we will have it available for sale.