MUDGEE SMALL FARMS FIELD DAYS 2014

They say every cloud has a silver lining, and so it proved when my bull got out of his paddock about this time last year. The silver lining was that I had a choice of some fairly young calves to take to the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days this year – what a crowd attractor they are.  It also inspired me to try my hand at showing off the milking capabilities that we promote in our breed.

 

So for a few weekends before the big day, I got the young mums into the yards and starting hand milking them to access which would be the best candidate for the demonstration.

They were all quite happy to let me milk them while they tucked into a bucket of bribery (feed), but a first time mum named Glory B was the calmest of them all. So she got the guernsey to be my demonstration cow. Also got her 3 months old bull calf used to being tied up and handled.

The big day dawned overcast with a cold wind blowing – not unusual for the Mudgee Field Days, but at least it wasn’t raining and ankle deep in mud (which has happened a number of times in past years).

 

We loaded the cow, calf and a young heifer onto the horse float without much to-do for the 25 minute ride from my farm to the showgrounds. Everybody travelled well and quickly settled down into their yards.

 

Dexters still amaze me even after all these years – none of these animals had been off the farm, in a float, or been handled by anyone other than me, yet they all behaved impeccably at the Field Days. Ample proof to the crowd that Dexters have a great temperament.

The demonstration was very low tech, with the cow just tied to the fence and me on one knee beside her with a plastic bucket to collect the milk. Processing it was just as low tech, comprising a loosely woven tea towel to strain the milk and a jug to collect it in. There were plenty of takers to try the milk, and most people were surprise at how different the milk tastes compared to supermarket milk.

 

A frequent question was “Do I have to milk her every day ?” and most people were pleasantly surprised to realise that you don’t have to, but can just separate the calf overnight when you do want milk, or leave the calf with the cow when you don’t.

 

There were about 35-40 spectators each day, and we gave away around 150 Australian Dexters and other promotional materials. It was great to have Rob Allen, Kathy Baker and Robin Herring there over the 2 days. At times, all of us were busy talking to interested people and at quieter times each of us was able to get away to see some of the other exhibits.

The new site proved to be a good thing, as we were closer to the other cattle breeds, and right across the road from the lecture area.

 

While the 2 days are always hectic and tiring, all in all, it was a pretty good promotional opportunity for the breed, and quite satisfying.

 

The Dexter Exhibit at the The Mudgee Small Farms Field Days is supported by the Dexter Cattle Promotion Group Of Sydney (DCAI)

 

Paula McPherson

Sandycreek Dexters.

 

CLICK HERE for details of the Mudgee Small Farm Field Day 2015

Dexter Cattle Breed Show 2014 Junior & Res Champions

Milking Demonstrations with Dexter Cattle created a lot of interest at Mudgee Small Farms Field Days