Courses consultancy educational visits

Event

Courses, Consultancy & Educational Visits

Learn more about what we do: Fancy keeping a house cow, running a micro-dairy or finding out what's magic about mob-grazing? Get hands-on learning here at Smiling Tree Farm.

 

Or just come for one of our farm walk & talks, a cuppa and a chat.

Climate change and cows

Blog

Carbon Mooooves

On average each of us humans breathes out 1kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) every day, the larger you are or the more you exercise, the more CO2. So why don’t we consider human metabolism to be a cause of climate change? After all, there are 7.6 billion of us, that’s a lot of CO2 hitting the atmosphere each day.

Forest Garden

Event

Forest Garden Volunteering

**** STOP PRESS: ALL OUR VOLUNTEERING PLACES ARE NOW BOOKED for 2018 **** 

Are you interested in forest gardening, drinking milk from cows who keep their calves, and eating delicious nutrient-rich meat, all from high welfare 100% grass-fed animals raised sustainably? Then we have a volunteering opportunity here at Smiling Tree Farm that may interest you.

Calf at foot dairy cows calves

Blog

Cow-Calf Dairying, a Pirate's Code #1

When customers come to collect their milk from our farm shop I often take them down to the field to see the cows and calves. When you see them together, it becomes obvious what cow-calf dairying means. 

However, it may not be obvious why calves in the conventional dairy industry are routinely removed from their dam. Why can’t dairy cows, who are selectively bred to produce more milk than their calves need, simply keep their calves and give extra for us humans to drink?

Weaned heifer calves

Blog

Cow-Calf Dairying, a Pirate's Code #8

SMILING TREE FARM SYSTEM, STEPS 7&8

In this post we cover the last couple of steps in the cow-calf dairying system we use here at Smiling Tree Farm, preparing the cows and calves for a stress-free weaning.

Milking without calf suckling

Blog

Cow-Calf Dairying, a Pirate's Code #7

SMILING TREE FARM SYSTEM, STEPS 5 & 6

When a lamb or calf suckles, they bunt their mum's udder with their heads to stimulate release of more milk. If you are share-milking, as a calf grows this bunting can quickly become so strong that it can easily knock the cluster off the other three teats. So it's a good idea to progress to milking without the calf suckling before this point. In this post we look at how we do this at Smiling Tree...

Share-milking in our calf-at-foot dairy

Blog

Cow-Calf Dairying, a Pirate's Code #6

SMILING TREE FARM SYSTEM, STEPS 3 & 4

I have found that the first few days after a heifer has calved are critical when it comes to creating a positive association with feeding her calf and being milked by machine.

In this post we look at laying the foundation so that each morning can you look forward to going out to milk a happy, relaxed cow, and not dread it worrying if she will 'let down' her milk or kick you out of the parlour!

Calf at foot

Blog

Cow-Calf Dairying, a Pirate's Code #5

SMILING TREE FARM SYSTEM, STEPS 1 & 2

This is where we get to the nitty-gritty of cow-calf dairying but it’s important that you have understood the whole series so far before reading on as much of what is covered here relates to points made before.

Udder

Blog

Cow-Calf Dairying, a Pirate's Code #4

UDDER DEVELOPMENT

Welcome to Part Four of this series on cow-calf dairying. By now you will be starting to understand that keeping calves on dairy cows is a fine art; that it is a case of balancing the emotional and physical needs of both cow and calf; and why there are no set rules, just guidelines, and hence why I call this my Pirate’s Code

In this post, we will look at udder development and how the age of weaning can impact on a heifer’s ability to be an efficient milk producer in future.

Load more