After the weather that we've had this year I am lucky to have got to October
Published 03/10/2012 | 06:00
Last Monday (September 24) the grazing season came to a very abrupt end as cows were housed full-time.
The change came so quickly that the 40 round bales of third-cut silage I had made a week beforehand were being fed the following Monday.
The good September didn't come and it left ground just about manageable. The heavy rains and the colder weather made me say 'enough'.
Grass wasn't building up either for me as I didn't get to sow as much nitrogen in early September as I would have liked.
After the year that has been, I am lucky to have got to October. Cows milked well for the first three weeks of September but I expect a drop when they go indoors. Milk yield is 17.5l/cow, butter fat is 3.87pc and protein is 3.52pc, giving 1.32 kg/MS/cow/day. The somatic cell count (SCC) is at 142,000 and TBC is 8,000.
I just had the cubicles fixed and tightened up for the cows going in. A week was spent welding and patching up some dodgey ones.
The whole secret in maintaining cubicles is to have them well secured. Once they become loose at a joint the cow won't be long finding the weak spot.
The cubicle beds and shed walls were all power-washed and disinfected. I also opened up a new door from the slatted house into the parlour which should ease cow flow. When the parlour was built 17 years ago, one 4ft door was sufficient. But with bigger numbers now, all buildings have to be upgraded.