It’s official. Winter is well and truly upon us and for those hard-working dairy farmers in the South West, the change in temperature brings with it some seasonal challenges.
Did you know it’s only a myth that when cows are milked in winter ice-cream comes out? You learn something new every day!
Something that isn’t a myth, however, is that cows use more energy to keep warm during the cold winter months and this can sometimes have an impact on how much milk they produce. Production can also be affected by the time of year a mother cow is calving. Cows carrying a calf in winter produce more milk during this time and less milk once the calf has been born. Similarly, a cow calving in spring is likely to produce a lot less milk by the following winter. This means that farmers must manage their calving and feed systems to ensure a balanced year-round supply.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to spend a night on a dairy farm in the South West you’ll know how cold it can get around this time of the year. In fact, the coldest place in WA by average maximum temperature is Albany in the Great Southern. It’s so cold around there that it sometimes snows!
So when you’re cuddled up in bed, spare a thought for farmers like the Ravenhill family from Albany who rise and shine at 3am each morning to make sure we’ve got plenty of great tasting WA milk in our fridges. Thanks guys!