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Getting our Gypsy Day act together

Getting our Gypsy Day act together

Thousands of farm animals and hundreds of households will be on the move in Gypsy day, as farms change hands and sharemilkers take up new contracts from Saturday, 31 May.

"Gypsy day is a fairly unique part of the Kiwi farming calendar," says Neil Filer, Federated Farmers Sharemilkers' Section chairperson.

"If you are a sharemilker taking up a new contract it means having all of your household possessions in a truck with your stock not far behind. It marks the end of the 2013/14 season and the start of 2014/15.

"In dairy areas especially at the end of this week stock trucks will be flat out. Some farmers may also be moving their stock on the road if a new property isn't far away.

"If farmers are moving stock on roads, please make sure you have permits from your local council. Have plenty of staff on hand and wear helmets and high visibility clothing if your team are operating quads and bikes.

"We'd also like to ask motorists to be patient if you do encounter a herd on the road. Please do not use a car horn as that will spook stock. Farmers want to get the move done quickly so please follow their instructions.

"One aspect of Gypsy Day we want to tidy up is effluent.

"Federated Farmers is advising our members to plan their move in some detail. It isn't a good look to leave roads covered in effluent when it can be minimised by planning ahead.

“I’d also like to remind sharemilkers to vote in the DairyNZ levy vote before they turn the computer off and shift farms. Our industry is only as good as we make it, so getting the right message to farmers on improving our farming footprint relies on having the industry behind us doing the research,” Mr Filer concluded. Mr Filer concluded.

Federated Farmers top tips for Gypsy Day 2012

Selection of stock

- Cows must be fit and healthy

- Cows must able to stand evenly on all four legs
- Cows must be acting normally and if not, please call the vet
- Body conditions score must be at least 3.0.
Prepare stock for travel

- Precondition cows. This is important for those travelling long distance and please click here for more information
- Stand all cows off green feed for a minimum of four hours and up to 12 hours to empty themselves
- Feed these cows straw, hay or baleage with free access to water.
- Book your stock transport in advance

- Ask for an estimated time of arrival of the truck to pick up the cows. This allows time to get the cows in and stand them off for the recommended minimum time (at least four hours). This may mean getting them in the night before
- Check the transport operator has a plan for the journey, covering: effluent disposal sites
- Adequate stops and rest periods (particularly for cows on long journeys)
- Talk to the farmer at the other end where your cows will be offloaded. Tell him what time you expect the truck to arrive
At the new farm
- Give all cows free access to feed and water on arrival
- Inspect the cows regularly over the first day; put them in a paddock that is convenient for you to do this

- Check the truck effluent tanks are empty before the journey
- In some instances, farmers can accept effluent from the stock truck. Please see here for tips on how to management this.

- Download Fact sheet: Discharging effluent on-farm.


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