Glasto cows in the mooo-d for love!
21 February 2005
Despite their lush green grass receiving an annual trampling from thousands of Glastonbury
Festival goers, the conception rate among Michael Eavis' 350 cows is significantly
above average, according to veterinary surgeons who monitor the herd.
Festival regulars have long been hailing the virility of the Vale of Avalon in light of the staggering numbers of babies conceived at the festival. While sceptics point to it being more to do with booze, drugs and partying than the power of the ley lines, Eavis disagrees.
He said: "Worthy Farm is a very romantic place to be and even the cows appreciate the
beauty of the fields and the valley. The Eavis family have been very fertile. We've produced a lot of children. My grandfather
had about 10, my father had five and we've got eight children from a couple of marriages. The farm is a very fertile place
and the cows even live longer than most. There's some magic going on here."
According to the experts however, it's more to do with the 5-star treatment the cows receive during the summer. For several weeks before, during and after the event, the animals are put into luxurious sheds that include their own bed and even a matress.
Peter Edmonson of Shepton Vetinary Group said: "Worthy Farm cows are looked after extremely well. The fertility rate is down to good management. They look after 350 cows, but each cow is treated as an individual. They are inside for a lot of the summer when cows would normally be out to grass, but they have cubicle beds with individual mattresses. They are lovely, comfortable beds. A lot of the people who go to the festival would be far more comfortable sleeping in the cubicles than they would be in their tents."
The cow expert also refused to rule out the positive affect of the music at Glastonbury. Mr Edmondson said: "Cows are funny. They become accustomed to things. I suspect they just boogie and relax."
However, Eavis also revealed that alchohol might have a part to play because the cows are fed
on the left-overs from cider production, known as 'pummace'.
He said: "It's fantastic stuff. We've been using it for centuries and feeding it to cows is the only way to get rid of it. We get through about 2,500 tonnes of it a year. It comes from the Babysham factory nearby, and a local cider producer in Shepton Mallet."
National conception rates among dairy cattle have fallen as milk yields rise, but Glastonbury is bucking this trend. The farm enjoys a success rate of 46 cows per 100 inseminated, compared with some 40% throughout the UK.
Glastonbury Festival 2005 takes place at Worthy Farm, Pilton, between 24-26 June. Tickets go on sale at 9am Sunday 3 April priced £125.CLICK HERE for more.