All About Dairy

Summer

 

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

Rosie Summer

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 eating moovellous food.

This means there’s leftover 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, when the paddocks get drier and there's not enough grass, it’s ready for the farmer to feed to 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!

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, some of the things they do are:

  • They make sure we have lots of clean water to drink
  • They put us in paddocks with trees for shade
  • They make sure we don’t have to walk too far for milking
  • They milk us later in the afternoon when it’s getting a little cooler
  • They use 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!).