Dairy Focus: Using night-time feeding to great effect in Co. Meath
在Lobinstown of Lobinstown of Co. Meatch的农业，您将找到Evans Family - Gordon和他的四个儿子Conor，Harry，Sam和Ryan。该家族在108HA上运行弹簧乳制品系统，在未来几周内持续200母牛。betway客户端
”Working alongside my dad, we have a full-time staff member that started earlier this year.
Myself and my brothers are all involved with the farm, mainly on a part-time basis as we are either working full-time or in college/school.
”When my great-grandfather came here first it was your typical mixed farm, with a small bit of everything. He was a butcher by trade so he also operated an abattoir and butcher shop from the farm.
”The farm is spilt into three blocks, with two blocks totalling 80ha used for the grazing platform and silage. The home block is split by the main Adree to Kells road, which means grazing across the road can be difficult so we mainly use across the road for silage.
”Last year we kept 45 beef calves to graze on the block with the heifers and we plan on selling them in the coming weeks as yearlings.
”That block is too big for the heifers and we don’t need the silage so we will most likely do that again this year.”
Building cow numbers
Speaking about how the farm has expanded in terms of cow numbers, Harry explained: “Over the last number of years the herd size has increased and we have begun to focus more on the grass. We used to be a pedigree Holstein herd, but we have started crossbreeding to improve fertility and milk solids (ms).
”For the last number of years, we’ve been milking 160 cows, but this spring we have 200 due to calf.
”Going forward we are planning on still crossbreeding some of the cows, but we will mostly likely use more high economic breeding index (EBI) Friesian. We are planning on becoming more selective about the bulls we use on cows.
”We started using Aubrac bulls last year on some of the late calving cows to add more value to the calves, with these calves due near the end of the calving season.
With increasing cow numbers we have gotten tight for housing so we are currently building a new 80-cubicle shed, which will be finished later this year.
Talking about the herd’s performance, Harry noted: ”Last year the herd produced 440kg of ms from 550kg of meal, with the aim being to surpass that this year.
The calving season on the farm is well underway. There are 45 cows calved already with 80% due to calf in six weeks with all the cows due to calf within 12 weeks.
”To try and reduce the workload a bit during the calving season, we started feeding silage at night time, which we have found reduces the number of night-time calvings. There was 11 calves born yesterday and three already this morning.
”Calves are put into individual pens for the first few days, then once they are able to drink on their own we then move them to a group pen of 10 calves.
”In the last few years we have switched from feeding whole milk to calves to milk replacer, we are currently feeding a replacer with 24% protein and 20% fat.
”Since we switched that has definitely been the case, our calves are performing much better on milk replacer.”
”The next big thing that may be changed on the farm is possibly the milking parlour. I think if we were changing the parlour we would look at robots or possibly even a rotary. That is a few years down the line if we feel it is necessary.”