Apr
1
2018
Christine Page

Making raw cultured butter from grass-fed Jersey milk

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Posted Apr 1 2018 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm
Handmade raw cultured butter

I made some winter butter this winter from the raw milk of my grass-fed Jersey cows. Butter made in the depths of the bleak midwinter from winter milk is a deeply flavoured, rich, indulgent treat. Read more …

Dec
30
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 8: weaning

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Posted Dec 30 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

This is the last in a series of posts about how to run a small dairy herd without separating the calves from their mothers. This final article is about preparing the cows and calves for a stress-free weaning. Read more …

Dec
16
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 7: introducing milking without the calf suckling

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Posted Dec 16 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm
milking_without_calf_suckling_web

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. Read more …

Dec
2
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 6: share milking

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Posted Dec 2 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

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.  Read more …

Nov
16
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 5: creating a bond and first milking

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Posted Nov 16 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

This is where we get to the nitty-gritty of cow-calf dairying, looking at creating a bond and the first milking; but it’s important that you have understood the whole series so far (see right or click here) before reading on, as much of what is covered here relates to points made before. Read more …

Nov
7
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 4: udder development

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Posted Nov 7 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

Welcome to part 4 of this series on cow-calf dairying, focusing on udder development. 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. Read more …

Oct
26
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 3: calf rumen development

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Posted Oct 26 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

Here, in part 3 of our series on dairying without removing calves from their mothers, we look at the importance of managing a calf’s nutrition in order to support the effective calf rumen development, essential to her long-term health and productivity. Read more …

Oct
3
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 2: how cows produce and give milk, and why they need their calves

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Posted Oct 3 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

In this second post in the series from the Smiling Tree cow-calf dairy we focus on how milk is synthesised and, importantly for cow-calf dairying, what triggers the release or ‘let down’ process. Read more …

Sep
24
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 1: the difference between conventional and humanely-produced milk

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Posted Sep 24 2017 by Christine Page of Smiling Tree Farm

This is the first in a series of articles looking at the practicalities of producing ethical, cruelty-free milk by allowing dairy cows to keep their calves. In this post we cover why conventional dairy cows don’t keep their calves and why humanely-produced milk using cow-calf dairying is rare and costs much more to produce. Read more …

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