AI                           Artificial insemination.
Anaerobic fermentation      This process produces acid and “pickles” the maize so that it can keep for up to 3 years.
Blocks Groups of cows.
Calf/Calves   Young cow/bull.
Calvers Mums to be.
Colostrum The first milk produced after birth which contains all the antibodies required by the calf.  Colostrum is produced by all new “mums”, human and animal.
Countryside Stewardship   A Government scheme to compensate farmers for giving up crop production on areas of ground for the benefit of wildlife.
Cultivating  Turning the soil over and breaking down clods to create a seedbed.
Drying off The period when we stop milking the cow which starts 8 weeks before the scanned due date.
Fermentation  Is a kind of pickling.  Fermentation is the lowering of the pH in the forage (maize or grass), to below 4.5 when no organisms (mould or bacteria) can function.  Fermentation process is also used when creating beer, wine, bread, yoghurt and other foods.
Field margins These are 6 metre margins around each field which are not cultivated (ploughed) so creating a habitat for many animals and also become hunting corridors for others such as barn owls.
Forage Harvester   A self-propelled machine which chops the 8 foot plants into 2cm lengths and smashes each and every grain so that it can be digested.
Grass silage leys  Newly reseeded fields.
Heifers A young cow over one year old that has not produced a calf.
In heat   When the cow becomes fertile and is ready to conceive.
Lactation    The period when a cow is producing milk.
Maize  A crop similar to sweetcorn but grown for overall starch and dry matter yield.
Manure/slurry  Animal dung used for fertilising the fields.
Mastitis   Inflammation of the teat and udder (as in women).  With cows we strip out the milk and any possible infection there may be.
Milk fever This is a disorder the cows close to calving can get. It is a caused by a low blood calcium level known as hypocalcaemia.
Milking cluster A part of the milking machinery that fits onto the teat of the cow and gently squeezes and releases to extract the milk.  The clusters are disinfected automatically between milking each cow using a system called ADF (automatic disinfection and flushing) developed by a local inventor.  This also applies a teat conditioner and antibacterial spray as the cluster is removed from the cow.
Pasteurise  Heat treatment.  When heat treated for a specific period of time that is sufficient to destroy certain microorganisms that cause spoilage or undesirable fermentation of food, without greatly changing the taste or quality.
Ration This is the cows’ diet and is balanced by a nutritionist using a computer program which will ensure that the needs of the cow for energy, protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals are met, so that the optimum quantity of milk can be produced as well as maintaining fertility and pregnancy.
Retained cleansings    Retained placentas, this also occasionally occurs with women.
Scoring A breeding expert scores the cows on their appearance and assesses whether feet and/or legs (mobility) or udder characteristics (teat placement & udder support – uplift!) need improving.
Scraping  This is yard cleaning where a tractor with a scraper blade attached to the back goes up the yards in the cow housing and scrapes the floors to clean them.
Semen Sperm from a bull.
Semen – dairy Semen from a dairy breed of bull.
Semen – beef Semen from a beef breed of bull.
Sexed semen Sperm that has been sorted to hold only female carrying chromosomes.
Silage clamp Where the grass or maize silage is stored.  The silage is put in, rolled and then covered with plastic and weighted mats to exclude all the air.  It then ferments and will keep for up to 3 years until needed.
Sward  Grass.