Thursday, 24 December 2009

So This is Christmas!

So This is Christmas.
Skype talks with my children & excited little grand daughter. Last minute dot com shopping (I am after all a male). I was greeted on Xmas eve by my cheery & friendly "Postie" as she walked through the snow to deliver those last Xmas presents. "Looks like a white one then!" she said
Christmas for me is all about that wonderful Christmas song that the late John Lennon wrote :-

So this is Christmas. And what have you done

Another year over. And a new one just begun

Ans so this is Christmas I hope you have fun

The near and the dear ones. The old and the young


A Very Merry Christmas. And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one. Without any fear

May I wish everyone a Merry Christmas & a safe one on the roads. It seems I might experience my first white Christmas in England while my children in Australia look forward to a very hot sunny Christmas day.....the extreme difference could not be greater.
Xmas is all about families & friends.... the odd tipple & a few sloshes of Hooch in the pudding.
Before we tuck into turkey & Christmas pudding......I just want to report on a Cow Condition Monitoring Project.
I am monitoring three spring calving herds on a regular basis from drying off to calving. For the early February calvers we now only have 40 days left until calving.....that means we only have a few more days where liveweight gain is still possible (due to the stage of pregnancy). To put a NZ Condition score on requires about 35kgs LWT gain per dry cow. It is fair to assume that dry cows can put on about 1kg LWT gain per day.
In the three herds we are seeing similar patterns emerge:-
Dry cows put on greater LWT gain in the second month of being dry rather than the first month post drying off.
Cows outwintered have ALL put on liveweight (despite the weather conditions) however it is generally less than dry cows that are housed.
And lastly there seems to be huge benefits from monitoring the progress of dry cows as we can calculate the daily weight gain with some confidence. Cows that have difficulties can quickly be attended to and looked after better.....this is an important animal welfare issue.
Merry Christmas to all grass based dairy farmers & their advisers where ever you live in the world.


  1. Merry christmas to you too Tom, and thanks for your permanently encourageing drive to help us help ourselves!!! Ezra

  2. Enjoy your White Christmas Ezra may you & your family have a safe one! Tom