Within a month, the calf pens had been set up and were filling with the new calves, the old piggery had been cleaned out and organised for Bundy and her piglets, the urgent fencing had been completed, balage and hay for the cows was secured, a system for the dairy shed had been devised and the milking procedure was operating smoothly. I could deal with effluent disposal, mastitis, downer cows, heat detection, Somatic Cell counts, break feeding, selenium deficiency, bloat prevention and separating colostrum cows. I knew about soil fertility, slow and fast paddock rotations, nutrient management, body condition assessments (not mine), forage values, and … the dreaded minefield of the consents processes. Amazingly, I found I was beginning to attend Dairy NZ field days and understand most of what was going on.
But, I hadn’t slept much and the huge workload was beginning to take a toll. It was obvious I was not going to last and I was pushed into making the first big professional decision in my dairying adventure … I changed to Once a Day milking. Suddenly I had a life back and that was a great gift.