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June 2012 - Posts - Dairy Diary

Dairy Diary

News from John and Phil Riley in Cheshire

June 2012 - Posts

Thick and fast.


We are now nearly a month into our calving block. After a slow start they are calving thick and fast at the moment. We had eight calve on Monday and the calf pens were nearly all full but the first ten to be born our now three weeks old so were sold today which has given us a bit of breathing space. Calf prices are good at the moment, it makes a change for something to be higher than budget ! We had hoped to keep them for another week but the milkers have been back inside for the last week so we cant set up any calf pens in the cubicle shed as planned. A cow calved on Tuesday which we had bought in calf to either an Angus or Hereford bull. She had twins, one of each breed.

Lets hope the weather improves next week as we have over a hundred to calve in July and it would take the pressure off if the cows were back out.

Calving in full swing.

After a break over the school half term we are now busy calving. The weather is not helping at all. Cows are currently calving inside because the calving paddock is too wet !! I am having to get into a new routine of tagging calves and applying for passports on a regular basis. I had almost forgotten how to register on line as we have had nothing calve since last October. The last of the replacement cows, all 50 of them, arrived yesterday. We vaccinated, id tagged and Heatime collared them when they arrived which took a while. With a block calving system we are able to tick jobs off ie no more new cows till next spring, last cow to be dried off early august etc. This then seems to give us more time to concentrate on specific jobs at certain times of the year rather than a bit of everything all the time.

All caught up.

The end of a busy week. All the grass in, slurry spread and fertiliser applied. On reflection things worked out quite well. Phil managed to drop the lagoon quickly as we have our own pumping kit. I milked on my own this week so Phil could get caught up before the weekend. He is now off for a 4 day break at the caravan in Anglesea. We will catch up on Wednesday before I have my time off Thursday to Sunday, making the most of the school half term with my family.

4 cows have calved so far. A mixture of calving before due dates or slipping twins a month early. I'm sure calving will get into full flow next week. Lets hope the weather improves as it is now raining again !!