Our cows calve all year round, but August is our busiest month. Cows are ‘dried off’ before they are due to calve, that is we stop milking them, then go out to graze pastures close to the farm – their holiday! As they get closer to their calving date, we usually move them to fields nearer to the farm. They will then either calve outside or some will be brought down to the farm to straw bedded loose boxes.
All our silage and round bales have been made for the winter months ahead, the silage will be used to feed the milking herd, whilst the bales are used to feed youngstock (heifers) and our Rough Fell sheep whilst they are on the fell before they are due to lamb. We have our silage analysed to enable us to work out what, if any, extra feed the cows need – both this year’s silage cuts have analysed well so hopefully this will mean happy cows producing lots of milk.
We have collected our next batch of piglets from Cobble Hey farm, we have 9 saddleback crosses, and these are housed in straw bedded loose boxes at Kelker Well. These will be reared for another 3-4 months, on the whey produced from the cheese making with some concentrate feed to produce our Whin Yeats pork joints, chops and sausages.
Our next job for the week ahead is to gather the sheep off the fell, check and dose them all, and then separate the lambs from the sheep – a noisy time! We tend to then keep our lambs grazing until around February, at which point some will go to auction and some will be used for Whin Yeats lamb. Most gimmer (female) lambs are kept as replacements for the older ewes in the flock. In October the tups will be put with the sheep, and the whole cycle will start again.