As the snow melts and the sun starts to shine a little bit more every day, it is clear that Spring has finally arrived in Indiana. The crop fields are starting to come to life and the cows are thriving. It won’t be long until the misters and fans are turned on throughout the barn as the weather gets warmer. This week I took a trip over to see the Fair Oaks adventure centre birthing barn and I was amazed to see how content the cows were giving birth there.
I enjoy following diet changes here on farm and assessing how the cows react to them. In the past two weeks a new corn silage pit has been opened. This pit has corn gluten mixed into it as it was good value during the harvest last year. This corn silage has gradually been added to the diet and milk production has increased along with its inclusion. Mixing order of feed ingredients has also been changed and I have continued to use the Penn State Shaker to assess TMR make up. Even with new feed ingredients and the change in mixing order, it always remains very consistent reflecting excellent feed centre management.
With only 6 weeks left on the Dairy Career Development Program there is plenty to do in a short space of time. I have now started to focus on researching a specific topic in order to prepare a report and presentation for the end of our program. I will remain focused on the transition period and how cows perform post partum. With almost 4,500 cows calving every year here, there is a lot of data to work with.
Last weekend was St. Patrick’s weekend in Chicago. I travelled up to the city to celebrate with some of my American friends and experience some true Irish culture in the USA. We watched the Chicago river (which runs straight through the city) being dyed green with vegetable dye. It underwent a mind blowing yet breathtaking transformation in a matter a minutes! We visited some Irish bars and restaurants and listened to live Irish music. There were thousands of people dressed up in green all over the city and the atmosphere was simply amazing. I felt very proud to be from Ireland and to be a part of the St. Patricks day festivities in one of America’s largest cities.