Caldermeade Farm ~ Today
Caldermeade Farm and Café is a commercial dairy farm, milking 400-450 dairy cows. The cows mostly eat grass from the paddock and are fed extra grain and minerals in the dairy to meet their daily energy requirements. When there is not enough grass in the drier summer months, the cows are fed additional hay and silage (fermented grass) mixed with grain or other by products. They eat this either on the feed pad (west side of the dairy) or in the paddocks on the ground.
A centre pivot irrigator using underground and recycled water irrigates about 50 hectares of land to extend the grass growing season when rainfall is low. Cows like green grass best of all! Crops, especially maize, are also grown at times, to ensure there is enough feed for the cows. There is extra land away from the dairy where young cattle graze, and extra grass is conserved. Caldermeade Farm and Café harvests excess grass in spring and stores it as hay or silage in the bunkers behind the dairy.
Cows calve once per year in autumn and after 8 weeks’ rest, produce about 25 litres of milk per day.