By now, most Dairy Farms in New Zealand are well and truly into their mating season. For dairy workers, this often comes hand in hand with slightly earlier shift starts than normal and, in some cases, some later finishes than usual. Milking times will be longer due to peak milk production and drafting on heat cows.
Here at Trinity, we often have dairy workers contacting us at this time of the season looking for alternative employment due to spending too much time in the shed.
Below are some tips for keeping staff positive at yet another busy time on farm:
- Share the load! Have all staff members (both junior and senior) on a milking roster. This allows everyone to have some time out of the cow shed.
- Engage staff, even the most junior staff on farm. Have them assisting with tail painting, picking on heat cows, drafting cows, and going over the processes involved. Teach them not just 'how', but also ‘why’.
- Maintain the shed hygiene. Keeping a cow shed clean and tidy will help to improve everyone's state of mind on the farm. It makes the cow shed a more attractive environment, and sets the standard for all employees.
- Offer snacks. Dairy farmers that have a morning A.I run (artificial insemination) often leave home at around 4am and are not in for breakfast till after 10am. Snacks at the cow shed will allow and encourage staff to have a 10 minute break and feel more energized.
- Chain the yard gate to avoid cows escaping back to the paddock from the yard. Something so simple but if not done it can end up costing not just time immediately to bring the cows back, but also milk production the following calving season.
Lastly, our Agricultural Recruitment Consultants' top tip to get through yet another busy time on farm…
Take the time it takes, to take less time!
Happy mating season, everyone!