What’s summer time like on a New England natural dairy farm? In some methods, quite a bit prefer it has been for hundreds of years! We requested Rhonda Goodrich, certainly one of our Have a Cow farmers, to inform us how her household and cows work and play throughout their summers.
What’s your favourite factor about summer time?
Summer season is my favourite time of yr. The barns are open, the grass is inexperienced, and we spend quite a lot of time exterior. The times are lengthy and heat. It’s lovely watching the cows take pleasure in being on pasture. Their coats are slick as they shed out from winter. Each nook and cranny within the barn is cleaned and made prepared for winter. The flowers odor so fantastic. Even the rain in the summertime smells good.
Do the cows like summer time?
Our lovely Jerseys love summer time. They love consuming inexperienced grass and feeling the nice and cozy summer time breeze on their again. They wait by the gate after they milk and you may really feel their pleasure to get again exterior. We take pleasure in watching them unfold out to graze. We’ve began opening the laneway throughout milking to allow them to go to pasture as quickly as they’re milked. Surprisingly they wish to eat somewhat filth. It’s enjoyable to look at them rub their heads within the filth. Cows may be very foolish generally.
At night time we maintain the laneway to the freestall open. The freestall is a big open barn with eight giant followers, beds fluffed with sawdust, movement activated brushes that scrub their again, cool water to drink and haylage with grain for a nutritious snack. Nevertheless, our cows choose to sleep exterior within the pasture. Early mornings are lovely because it begins to get mild round 4:30am and the cows lay within the grass ready for us to name them into the barn. They’re good and shortly be taught the schedule however like to get just a few further winks earlier than coming in to work (milk) or maybe the cows have educated us to provide them a wake-up name.
What’s your favourite summer time exercise?
We love time spending time with our kids and grandchildren after they go to the farm. We work on a regular basis so it makes having them go to and work with us on the farm very particular. I prepare dinner hearty farm meals after they go to and we sit across the desk speaking lengthy after the meal is completed.
Our grandchildren love spending the night time and getting up early to go along with us to the barn. It’s rewarding to look at the light method they work with the cows and their love of the outside. We’re so lucky that our household loves being on the farm as a lot as we do.
Do you’ve gotten any summer time traditions?
My favourite summer time custom is our annual household cook-out on the 4th of July with recent strawberry shortcake for dessert. Household bingo is at all times enjoyable. This yr our 5-year outdated granddaughter Emma so wished to win the unicorn prize. Emma’s Mother gained a sport and instructed Emma to select a prize however Emma stated she wished to win on her personal. She did lastly win that unicorn.
At nightfall on the 4th, Myles hitches the hay wagon onto the tractor. We pile onto the hay wagon with blankets and journey to the highest of the hill behind the barn to look at the fireworks. We will see Joe’s Pond and the City of Peacham’s firework show.
How do the cows keep cool in summer time?
On sunny days the cows discover shade close to the tree line. The pasture on prime of the hill behind the barn most at all times has a mild breeze. Every paddock has a water tub with cool spring water that we verify a number of occasions a day to make sure it’s refilling quick sufficient in order that our cows at all times have loads of water to drink.
Nevertheless, on sizzling humid days the cows solely go to pasture within the morning and at night time. Within the afternoon we transfer them from pasture to the freestall to allow them to calm down with one of many eight big followers blowing on them. Additionally they like to clean their again and butt on the automated brushes. They love pasture however on these sizzling days they actually do choose to be within the freestall. Jerseys are good cows.
What else occurs on a dairy farm through the summer time?
Summer season is a busy time on the farm. We chop and spherical bale about 165 acres of cropland which is about 320 tons of haylage (chopped grass) and 300 spherical bales. We do that thrice a season and if we’re lucky, we get a fourth minimize on among the cropland. We rely on the climate and when the solar is shining, we’re often haying. We preserve the haying gear between every harvest to strive our greatest to keep away from breakdowns particularly after we are racing to get the crop in earlier than it rains. We take excellent care of our gear as a result of shopping for new gear is dear.
It’s quite a lot of work mowing grass and trimming across the buildings to assist maintain the flies down. We additionally trim miles of fence line. We’re at all times both portray or repairing the barns in the summertime. My favourite summer time job is cleansing the within of the barn in order that it’s recent and prepared for winter.
Do you get to take a household trip in the summertime?
We work on our dairy farm day-after-day. We had a time without work just a few years in the past and spent the night time in Maine which was a brilliant deal with. Typically it will be good to have a while off however for now Myles and I are lucky to work collectively preserving the farm going that has been within the household for nearly 200 years. We’ve journals from as early because the mid 1800’s and it’s stunning how a lot has modified and what number of entries are nonetheless related as we speak particularly concerning the cows and younger inventory.
We put in a swimming pool about fifteen years in the past and that may be a fantastic mini-vacation particularly when we have to cool off in the midst of the day.
Keep watch over the Have a Cow web site for extra weblog posts like these from different farms! Don’t neglect to comply with a cow so that you by no means miss an replace!