Our Top Tips for a Happy & Healthy Herd!

Our Top Tips for a Happy & Healthy Herd!

Although organic farming isn’t just limited to making sure that our dairy herd is as happy and healthy as can be, it’s still a pretty big factor! Here are a few of our top tips from farm owner Richard on how we keep our 330 strong herd of mixed dairy cows as happy, clean and healthy as possible: 

1. We give each cow plenty of individual cubicle space (which keeps the ladies from trampling on each other) fitted with rubber chip mattresses and topped off with bedding to maximise cow hygiene and comfort

2. Passageways in buildings are automatically scraped up to six times per day to make sure our cow sheds are as clean as can be

3. We make sure our sheds are fully ventilated – this means we have plenty of gaps between roof panels to release condensation and one third of the roof panels are clear to let lots of Somerset sunshine come streaming in

4. Our clever computer system monitors each individual cow and means we have the ability to detect any problems as early as possible

5. We routinely use homeopathy to help with (in particular) mastitis and cell counts

6. By composting farm waste and applying it in rotation around the farm we make sure our organic soil structure is improved and help prevent foot problems in the herd

7. Our many fields and cattle tracks are lined with plants that can be foraged by individual cows to supplement their mineral metabolism – including comfrey, borage, ash, blackcurrant, vine and hop

8. Quality organically assured feed is important! We have taken on extra fields at the farm in order to provide high quality forage (including clovers, vetches, chicory and ribwort plantain) and the cows are able to help themselves as they walk around the fields and to and from the barn

9. Over the years we’ve planted plenty of extra broadleaf trees – more than 25,000 – in and around our fields to help protect our girls with shelter and shade during extremely rainy and sunny periods

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