News / Blog

Foxton Bed and Breakfast for Dairy Cows
June 24, 2015

Thousands of dairy cows on their way to the South Island have been staying at a Foxton rest stop to get food and water before they cross the Cook Stait to their new homes.

John Seymour, who owns the cow bed and breakfast unit, said most of the cows were heading to Canterbury or Southland to supplement or form new herds.

He said Gypsy Day, which is on June 1, heralds many dairy farm changes with the new dairy season starting.

Seymour said herds often changed hands, sharemilkers moved jobs and farms changed owners during this time.

He said that can’t happen in a day, and instead he said his yards and holding paddocks were full for three weeks.

Farm manager Michael Malmo said 100 truck and trailer units have dropped cows and taken them the next day.  That’s about 5000 dairy cows over the past two months, he said.

He said the cows get water and hay on their way through, as well as a rest, after as much as 14 hours on a truck.

“They usually come in in the afternoon, and go in trucks to get ferries.  They often start going at 4am in the morning.”

Malmo said in April there were mainly heifers being trucked in. In May and June there were usually cows going south from Waikato.

Seymour said they bought a small cow shed in 2002, and have milked 12,000 cows, which were in transit through the dairy shed over the years.

He said it took four days to truck stock from Waikato to Southland, with two stops on the way – usually one at his Foxton farm and one near Christchurch.

“Last year when it was too rough, the boats stopped, and we had quite a few cattle here.  We had 37 units here loading. We managed that backlog here.”

Seymour said he had been resting cattle at the farm for 18 years, and the lower milk payout meant they had been busier in earlier years. Fewer cattle were transported in low payout years.

“2008 was our busiest year – we put through 30,000 cattle then.”


Source – New Zealand Farmer



Summer 2018