SURFING COW FACT FILE
We milk 450 cows!
Our 450 Surfing Cows produce 2 million litres of milk per year. They live at grass for much of the year, only coming inside in really bad weather or for a few weeks before they calve. They are Jersey Cross cows – that's Jerseys crossed with Swiss Red, NZ Friesian, Fleckvieh or British Friesian. A lovely mix!
We are a closed herd – i.e. we don’t buy in cows – they are all born here and have a high health status. The cows are milked twice a day by Gregor, Graham and Lawrence.
The calves are loosed housed and reared in groups of 10 by Lawrence and Ben. They stick together in peer groups their whole lives and it's not unusual to find them side-by-side in the parlour being milked when they are grown up. The new calves are fed whole milk, warm, direct from the parlour and, when they move outside, their milk goes to them in a special trailer we bought from New Zealand.
South Battisborough Farm is right on the coast, many of the fields are on the clifftops and it is generally warmer here than most places in Devon. But when it is wet and windy, it is VERY wet and windy! We have a Higher Level Stewardship Agreement so our fields are full of birds and wildflowers, Skylarks can be heard singing all day in the summer. The cows access our fields on specially made cow tracks so they don’t hurt their feet in the summer or churn up the mud in wet weather.
WE LOVE OUR COWS!
Many of our cows have names. Some of our favourites are Tank (she’s a big girl), Parky (a white park cow – rarer than a panda apparently), Sherbet (who was the same colour as a palomino pony when she was born), Rachel (was tiny when she was born, small and blonde like one of our friends), BFG (our biggest cow, she is a breed called Montbeliarde).
FROM MILK TO ICE CREAM
Milk is transferred daily to the ice cream parlour which is in a barn nearby You can see the ice cream being made by Becky and Lee as we have windows into the kitchen.