A winter break before calving
When it's darker for longer in the morning, and it gets dark early in the evening, it means winter is here. It gets colder too, so it’s time to wrap up warm!
On the farm
We call the first part of winter the dry period because cows don’t get milked. We get to spend our time eating, relaxing and getting ready for calving in July and August. It’s like going on school holidays to refresh yourself for the new year (or for us cows, the dairy season ahead).
The grass doesn’t grow as much in winter so the farmers also feed us the lovely hay and silage they made for us in summer.
Even though farmers aren’t working in the milking shed, they still keep busy. We don’t miss them too much because they come and visit us, mooooove us around when we need to change paddocks, and make sure we’re in good health.
This is also a time when some farmers move to a different farm, so some of us will head to new pastures and settle into a new home. It’s also a good time to get up to date with paperwork, fix anything that’s broken on the farm and get everything ready for the busier times ahead.
Winter is also the best time for planting on the farm while the soil is wet and plants have a good chance to grow. Farmers might plant areas beside rivers or wetlands to help keep the water healthy, or trees to provide shade in the summer.
In the milk factories
Because most farms have stopped milking, some of the milk factories get ready for winter maintenance. Factory workers can fix up any problems that have come up and get everything ready for when we start milking again.
One thing that is 100% sure is that when the new season starts, the milk will start flowing again, the tankers will arrive, we’ll get to see the lovely tanker drivers and the factories will start making cheese, yogurt, ice cream and butter from our milk and it will be sent to supermarkets all around New Zealand and the world.
Wow. That’s what I love about being on the farm. But for now, I’m going to keep relaxing and eating this lovely hay. Moovellous!
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