Until this weekend, we had never been on a farm tour. I knew the kids would love exploring a dairy farm and so we set off in the beautiful May sunshine for the Rora Dairy Open Day. I don’t often venture north of Aberdeen and I love the sprawling farmland flanked by the coastline. Rora is just north of Peterhead, surrounded by tranquil countryside. We parked in the field, put on our wellies and were greeted by a friendly welcome, a hand-drawn map and activity booklets for the kids. We arrived just as a tractor ride was about to start so we hopped straight in the trailer and set off around the farm.
We trundled along, with the kids excitedly pointing out everything from mud to cows to the wind turbine. There was someone in the trailer with us to tell us all about the farm as we bumped pleasantly along. The dairy farm has 250 cows and a robotic milking shed (which Isaac was very excited about visiting!). We stopped under the whirling of wind turbine and the driver, John, jumped down to tell us more about the turbine and farming in the area. I was surprised to learn that the Costa in nearby Ellon uses milk from Wales…
As soon as Isaac heard the word ‘robots’ he was desperate to go and see them in action. We enjoyed a great tour by owner, Bruce, where we learnt all about the robotic milking and saw the happy cows – and newborn calves. Because of the robots, the cows have the freedom to choose when they are milked – they just walk into the milking areas (they have tags on them so the robots know if they’ve only just been milked). They average around three milkings a day, as opposed to the traditional two. After learning about the robots, we then went down to see them in action – Isaac was mesmerised, watching the milk travelling along the tubes.
The shed has access to the fields so they also have the freedom to graze outside. The shed is bright and airy, and we learnt that it has been designed around the principles of air, light, water, rest, feed and space to make for happy, healthy cows.
For my youngest, “seeing the cows and baby cows” was her favourite part of the day.
The highlight of the day for my son was the smoothie bike (what a fun idea!). I had told him about this beforehand and he was very excited by the thought of mixing his own smoothie whilst on a bike. Thankfully his legs just reached the pedals and when standing he was able to pedal enough to mix the smoothie. (It was delicious, made with raspberries, strawberries and Rora natural yoghurt).
There was also a cow figure that the kids could ‘milk’ (it was water), which they both loved.
I think it’s lovely, and important, for little ones to learn more about their food sources and we all enjoyed seeing the whole process from the cows being milked to where the yoghurt is made to then tasting the yummy natural yoghurt.
This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share some photos of our visit as we had such a lovely time at the Open Day – and we loved their yoghurt!