St Peter's College
In the early days of farming in Taikorea the milking was all done by hand . The first shed was just a rudimentary shelter that the cows could be tied up in while they were being milked
The first true cowshed, which was built while Christie and Jimmy were boys
The cows themselves had cowbells on so they could be found in the bush if they wandered off .The first proper cowshed was built in 1911, it was run by a Blackstone steam engine as there was no electricity at this time.
James Hehir's prize cow, which gave up to four times as much milk as a regular cow
The shed was extended in 1938 to 10 sets of machines.
The Cows coming up to the shed for milking
In 1972 Christie, Jimmy and Chris built a completely new shed, a 20 a-side herringbone design, on the site of the old shed. This was necessary because of the amalgamation of the home block with Michael and Lizzie Hehir's farm .A new herd of cows were bought and 240 cows were now milked.
Kippy's current shed being built
The new shed was a much more hygienic place to milk cows in with the latest in plate coolers the milk was never exposed to the air or to birds from the time it left the cow to the time it ended up in the vat.
Christie retired from milking in 1969 when Chris came home after finishing school. Jimmy retired in 1975 when Tim finished his schooling. In 1992 as both Chris and Tim had maried and had families a decision was made to divide the farm into two separate blocks. Tim built a new 18 a-side herringbone cowshed near the site of Michael Hehir's old 8 bale walk through shed.
Tim's new cowshed on his block of the farm
Each farm now milked 130 cows but due to progress in breeding and feeding the cows, production from the farms had risen by 100 % over the last 30 years . In 2001 Tim and Cathy and Chris and Briona bought 40 hectares across the road. The installation of an underpass has meant that 180 cows can now be milked on each farm
The old Milk Factory down the road, which is now closed down
The production from each farm is now nearing 60,000 kg /milksolids per year. This is five times what a cow at the turn of the last century would produce, three times the production of a cow in the 1930s and twice the production of a cow in the 1960s.