All About Dairy

Summer

 

More sunshine means more time for us cows to chill out!

At the start of summer, there’s a lot of grass – but just like you, when it starts to get really hot, we like to have a snooze in the shade rather than standing in the hot sun all day eating moovellous food.

Tobby Tail Wagging

This means there’s more grass for the farmer to cut and store as either hay or silage (hay is dried grass and silage is preserved). Making silage is a bit like making 'grass jam' – the grass is cut and stored in such a way that it keeps all its hoofy goodness and flavour. Then it’s ready for when the farmer needs to feed us.

Over the holidays,we are still producing heaps of delicious milk and need to be milked up to twice a day – even on Christmas Day, so if the farmers want a holiday, they need to bring in some help.

In a very dry summer, the farmers will sometimes switch to milking us only once a day so we don’t have to walk as far and can save our energy. That’s moognificent!

The paddocks get drier too, so there is less fresh grass to eat (that’s when we start digging into our ‘grass jam’ or hay!)

Farmers sometimes water the pasture to make it grow better – much like watering the plants in your garden at home. There’s lots of clever devices to help them decide when the pasture needs water and how much. It’s important not to waste a drop, so the water used for our paddocks is often collected and recycled from other parts of the farm.

The biggest thing for us in summer is being sun smart! That’s right… just like you, we have to make sure we are keeping cool in the hot months. Our farmers do a farmtastic job of looking after us and some of the things they do are:

  • Making sure us cows have lots of clean water to drink
  • Making sure we are in paddocks with trees for shade
  • Making sure we don’t have to walk too far for milking
  • Milking us later in the afternoon when it’s getting a little cooler
  • Using a sprinkler system in the yard to cool us off

It’s a cowrazy time for our farmer friends, so it’s great to have Matt the farmhand and his loyal cat Toby lending a hand (or paw!).