Dairy: Get organised now for a stress-free Christmas on the farm
For the next two weeks or so people will be getting organised for Christmas like it was the end of time. We farmers must get organised too so that Christmas is stress free on the farm.
As much time as possible should be spent with family and friends over the Christmas. Start today by checking stocks of diesel, meal, cubicle lime, mastitis tubes and so on.
A lot of rain has fallen over the past three weeks with many fields flooded. The cows were housed full-time on November 11, leaving a closing average farm cover of 700kg/DM/ha.
Some of the paddocks have covers of up to 1200 kg/DM/ha with good quality grass. Hopefully they will remain in the same condition for next February. Weanlings were all housed last week. I was happy enough with their grazing on the silage ground.
You have to walk the ground that weanlings are on daily as poaching can happen easily especially after a heavy night's rain.
It's a good habit when all cattle come indoors that all electric fencers are locked away and water is turned off especially on outfarms. We all still have memories of the frost from 2010 and 2011.
Cows are presently producing 12.5l at 4.28pc butter fat, 3.37pc protein giving 1.2kg milk solids per cow a day. We're recording a TBC of 5000, SCC at 166 and Thermoduric at 100. The last few weeks has seen 25 cows dried off.
I am using Cepravin dry cow tubes with Boviseal. It's my first time to use teat sealers. I had some mastitis cases after calving this year so I am hoping the teat sealer will reduce this.