Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Dairy Farming

21 May 2007

Dairy Shorthorn pictures and videos on Webshots

Dairy Shorthorn pictures and videos on Webshots

Posted by Farmer Giles at 19:26 0 comments Links to this post

Dairy Cows 1930s & 1940

Shorthorn Breed was the dominant breed in the West Yorkshire the colours of which could be Roaned, White, or Red, or perhaps a mixture of these colours The yield of one cow in those days would be about three gallons a day and the herd would be milked twice a day. A typical herd would be of about twenty cows, with perhaps half a dozen followers, these follower would consist of three yearling heifers then perhaps three in calf heifers to replace any cows that had to be culled from the Herd. The labour force to tend the herd, Milk and look after the land would consist of perhaps the tenant who would be the owner of the herd and perhaps one hired hand or another member of the family. In those days farming was very labour intensive, in winter all the food and water was to carry to the cows, bearing in mind that a cow in full milk could drink up to Ten Gallons of water a day, of course this was only to be done during the winter months, but winter months in those days meant from September until the following May, remember that it wasn’t the custom then to put on nitrogenous fertilizers although Sulphate of ammonia was perhaps beginning to come into use, so you can gather that there wouldn’t be much grass until May.

Below is a photo of a Dairy Shorthorn by courtesy of the Shorthorn Society


It was different in the summer when the cows were turned out to graze, they were brought up into the cow sheds twice a day to milk. It was a lot easier looking after the stock because as soon as the milking was finished the milk cows were turned back into the fields and the young stock which weren’t in milk were out to graze all the time. I said that the cows were brought into the cow sheds, but that isn’t a term that we would have used, we called the buildings where the cows were housed Mistles and the name for the same would have been Byres in the north East and shippons in Lancashire, I think I have also heard the word Barton, but i don’t know where that word came from, and I would be pleased if any one could enlighten me.

In 1946 we started using the Artificial Insemination service which at that time cost only a £1 a time including about three repeat services. A I resulted in some very good stock and a lot cheaper than keeping a Bull

This is a Picture of one of the first Shorthorn calves to be born to A I on our farm at Birkenshaw Nr. Bradford. The person holding the calf is Keith Lorimer a friend of the Family


Hill top farm ,Birkenshaw


Me at Intake Farm,Menston. with calves born to A I


The Shorthorn was a Dual Purpose Breed, a good milker and also a good Beef type.

Originating in the North East in the 18th centuary. The Dairy Shorthorn was a cross between the Teeswater and Durham cattle. The first herd book was published in 1822 by George Coates and has retained that name to this day. In 1958 Beef Breeders started their own section of the Herd Book..

I have written a fair bit about the Dairy Shorthorn because it was a good looking animal and the form and colour were very pleasing to the eye, and of course a little of nostalgia.

The Shorthorn began to be replaced by the Ayrshire Cattle in the late 40s, when tuberculin testing came into force (So as to erradicate T B by culling cattle that had Tuberculosis). The reason for this influx of Ayrshire cattle was because that Scotland was predominantly of the Ayrshire Breed and they became tuberculosis free before England, so their cattle were bought by the English dairy farmers to replace their own condemned stock which had T B. Near us a new cattle market was opened to cope with this influx of Ayshire Cattle, it was called

Bridge End Cattle Market, Otley At this market their would be hundreds of cattle a week sold.

Well I have taken you through a short period of Dairy Farming, but in the last twenty year things have moved apace, and I for one think it was a lot more interesting when we were young because of the variable jobs we had to do.

John C Stott

P.S.Don a good Cow Dog