Late on a dusty Saturday afternoon, a small mob of Montbeliarde cows and heifers were delivered to Narrawilly. Rob had purchased the animals from a dairy farm auction in Leongatha, Victoria, earlier in the week.
As the livestock truck navigated its way towards the unloading yard, the Montys lifted their white heads, sniffing the air of their new home. (Big thank you to Chittick Livestock Transport for taking such good care of these animals and delivering them safely to the farm.)
First off the truck, heading straight to the green grass at the edge of the yard, was this beautiful Monty, munching quietly as she waited for the rest of her travel companions to disembark.
After milling about like bored tourists on a sightseeing excursion, Rob walked the mob to a paddock on the northern side of the farm, leaving them together to stock up on lush green grass, hay and plenty of water, and to rest and recover after their long trip.
The Victorian Montys were introduced to the full milking herd on Sunday morning, and the farm's Holstein and Montebeliarde cows greeted them enthusiastically. We're watching to see where they end up in the "pecking order" which makes up the bovine hierarchy of a full herd. Although our lead cow currently is a big black and white Holstein, her 2-i-C is a Montbeliarde. Together, they keep the herd, including the bulls, in check.
Montbeliarde cow milk has long been highly prized by cheesemakers in France but the rest of the world is catching on, too. Montys are especially valued for being less likely to develop mastitis, their calm temperament and their intelligence. Want to know more? Here is a useful summary of the milk-making abilities of a Montbeliarde cow and the qualities imparted to the cheese produced with a Monty cow's milk.