Cow Diaries – Stage Five

D3020864-5C07-456D-BED9-CFCBD9FAC89FFollowing on from last times blog post where a cow had been given a pregnancy check by the vet.  I went into detail about if a cows result was negative, that cow will then continue to have regular vet checks and going through the same process until they do fall pregnant.  Today’s blog post, I wanted to continue as if the cow was given a positive pregnancy result.  

The cow will remain in the ‘high group’ of cows and continue to be milked, twice a day.  A cow can keep producing milk whilst being pregnant and our farm usually tries to keep the cow milking until eight weeks before they are due to give birth.  ‘The high group’ means this group of cows are usually giving a substantial amount of milk per day.

We do not graze our ‘high group’ of cows in fields.  This is purely so we can manage their diets and keep a consistent amount of milk being produced.  This means we don’t require a large grazing platform (fields specifically for summer grazing) but we do need to make more silage.  It also has an implication on costs where we need to add minerals, vitamins and other nutritional aspects into our blend (cake mix – include soya, rape meal, wheat, barley, maize distillers).  However we’ve proven (to ourselves) that we can produce a higher quality milk product than just grass grazing alone.  

The cows milk may drop off the further along they get, so usually they will be moved into the ‘low group’ of cows when they’re milk starts to decrease, this tends to be around four months from giving birth.  When they join this group they will also go onto a different ration of food, as their bodies don’t require as much maintenance they don’t require as much food (just like a human) otherwise they may become ‘too fit’, farming speak, which means they will become too fat.  

As always, I would just like to reiterate, what happens on our farm doesn’t always happen on other farms.  All cows are different and lastly, I do hope I don’t receive any negativity for sharing this information as I have taken the time to write this, with no opinions shown, just the facts given! I look forward to sharing the next instalment of the year in a cows life.

Much love
Rebecca

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