Richard Charmley

21 November 1997

Richard Charmley

Richard Charmley is a tenant on a 73ha (180-acre) dairy

unit at Ightfield near Whitchurch in Shropshire which

supports 130 Holstein Friesians.

WELL, here in Shropshire, or as a neighbour calls us "the Cheshire Embassy", the cows are in day and night, split into two groups. The highs are being fed for 25 litres outside, and topped up with 0.4kg/litre in the parlour. The out-of-parlour feed consists of a 70% maize-based diet with first and second cut grass silage, plus 0.5kg Sopalin and 3kg of a 20% parlour nut poured in the top of the feeder wagon. This causes a bit of a problem as the nuts hit the beater in the front of the wagon and get pelted out – hitting the driver David round the ears. When he complained I told him to wear a tin hat!

The low group are being fed for 14 litres outside, topped up in the parlour at 0.4kg/litre. As we are not in stride with this system yet, we will have to report how they are milking next month.

Bactosan is still ranging between 30 and 50. Im running out of ideas how to get below 30 – everywhere is rinsed out with hyperchloride and scrubbed clean. I shouldnt think the bubonic plague could survive in my tanks and pipelines, but anyway my milk buyer is sending the BBM (Bodfari Bactoscan Man) out to see if he can solve this difficulty.

The big news this month is that we have bought a new second-hand tractor – a B-reg Ford 7610 with Tima loader. Having never owned such a big tractor, when anybody calls they are dragged around the back to view it. However, one sharp visitor slipped out the back first and poured oil under the back axle. When I proudly showed him the tractor, I fell for it big-style.

Breeding news: This month I have had a GSIP heifer calve by Artic Mascot. She is fantastic, having been calved 65 days and still giving 34 litres a day. Two weeks ago I took delivery of another 20 straws – all but five straws have now been used. It is the first GSIP bull that I have used and then used again.

The rugby season is well under way with Whitchurchs first League result – played five, won five. I have been training twice a week and it looks like it has paid off as I have been selected for Saturdays league game. Looks like an early night on Friday, after a large plate of pasta – what a way to end the week!n

Cows are now in on winter rations comprising maize and grass silage and a 20% fed nut through the wagon – which is causing headaches.

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