Behind the scenes at Delamere Dairy
- Credit: Archant
What goes on behind the scenes at this successful Cheshire company?
Knutsford’s Delamere Dairy is a principal partner at this year’s Royal Cheshire County Show. The award-winning business will be sponsoring the main ring at the iconic agricultural event at the Tabley showground on June 20 and 21.
Delamere Dairy was founded in 1985 and supply an extensive range of speciality goats’ and cows’ milk-based products to retail, wholesale and independent customers around the world.
So what goes on behind the scenes at this successful Cheshire company? Here’s an insight into a day in the life of one Delamere Dairy farmer, Will, and in particular what happens during kidding season.
He says that goat herdsmen, Andrew and Beccy, begin at 5am with a quick check to make sure that any kids born overnight are given some bottle fed colostrum, giving them a vital start in life.
‘The rotary milking parlour is then started while Beccy collects the first of seven groups to milk. Each goat’s milk is recorded so we can trace the volume they give. I am up by 6am, sneaking out of the house trying desperately not to wake everyone.’
Will’s job is to make sure that everything fed to the goats is consistent and they always have the right amount of food in front of them, so the first thing he does is check that everything has been eaten up overnight. The goats are fed on home-grown maize and grass silage, balanced with a protein concentrate to ensure they are given the best nutrition.
‘John, the head tractor driver, is soon on the scene cleaning out mangers and then beds everything up.’
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During kidding season, it gets very busy so Will sorts through the rota for the week, as milking the goats takes some organising. Beccy and Andrew are back milking at 1pm and finish by 4pm. The goat’s feet are also trimmed regularly, to keep them fit, healthy and sound on their feet, by local helpers Paul and Dave.
‘I’m back in the house at 5pm. Then it’s back out at 9pm to check if any other goats have kidded and to see Barry and Alan who are a father and son team milking in the evening.’
Dairy animals are just one of the many agricultural creatures taking centre stage at the Royal Cheshire County Show. There is always plenty of family fun and entertainment, but the chief attraction at the show year after year continues to be the bulls, cows, pigs, hens, goats and many other farm creatures.