Guernsey Press

First calf for Sark herd

SARK DAIRY has welcomed its first calf to the new herd.

Venus, the first calf in Sark’s herd of cattle, was transported there from Guernsey with mother Daisy last week. (Picture supplied by Seigneur of Sark Christopher Beaumont)

Venus was transported to Sark from Guernsey last week with her mother and two other cows.

The arrivals mark the final additions to the herd, with a total of 14 cows having been transported to Sark since the start of August.

Milk production began later in the month for the first time in four years, since the previous owner, Christopher Nightingale, decided to close down in 2017 after 30 years of business.

After 35 years working with Guernsey cows on their Suffolk farm, Jason and Katharine Salisbury were selected out of 80 prospective candidates to take on the dairy.

Seigneur Christopher Beaumont said some of the other cows are already pregnant and will be giving birth in November.

It was originally planned that Venus would be born in Sark to be the dairy’s first Sark-born cow, but the birth happened earlier than expected.

‘They need to keep producing calves to get milk,’ said Major Beaumont. ‘But we won’t grow the herd too much.’

The new calves have been sex inseminated to be female and will go on to be part of herd.

A vending machine is being used to sell the milk to islanders, with 50 to 75 litres being bought each day.

‘I’m down at the dairy almost daily,’ said Major Beaumont.

‘It’s all going very well – the cows themselves are very chilled.

‘They’re very friendly and they’re producing fabulous milk.’

Cheese production is planned to begin at Christmas, with soft varieties such as Brie and blue cheese expected to be sold.