Cleaning tails, discussion groups, High SCC's, increasing rations, buffer feeding, teat sprayers and more. Get it all on this week's Dairy Update below!
Farm: Milking 40 crossbred Jersey herd
Performance: 08/10/18 , Butterfat 5.23 Protein 4.23, Kgs/Ms/Cow = 1.17 , SCC 305, 000 Cows doing 12 Litres , Meal = 6kgs , 16% Dairy nut
This Week -
We finished off getting out the fertiliser before the closing date.
I also cut all of the cows tails. I trim the cows tails about 3 to 4 times a year. I think it is important and can help reduce cases of mastitis as you will have a cleaner udder. Also your less likely to get a dirty tail slapped across your face.
Cows have dropped in yield since the last collection, but it's that time of the year so I am not overly concerned. The SCC has gone up to 305,000, but I have identified the problem cow through the milk recording results and using the milk paddle (CMT). I have also identified the problem quarter, so I am treating that cow at the moment.
I recently put in an Ambic Classic teat sprayer which works off the vacuum pipe in the parlour. I am very happy with it and it is working well.
The Week Ahead -
I will do another Grass budget today (Tuesday) and check figures to see what the average farm cover is. This will help me decide on how much more of the farm I can graze before I close off paddocks for the winter.
I have gone through my milk recording and I will now set out a plan for any cows that are above 200,000 in relation to drying off. Cows get a minimum drying off period of 8 weeks but any cow above 200,000 will get a longer drying off period.
I have a discussion group meeting coming up tomorrow (Wednesday). I am a member of a knowledge transfer group with Teagasc/Macra and our group name is N71. I find the group very beneficial with a great bunch of lads in the group who are enthusiastic and always willing to give out helpful advice to whoever hosts a walk within the group. The group is in regular contact with each other as we are all on WhatsApp as a group.
So if anyone wants advice on a certain topic, members of the group will give their opinion. As well as that we all have the craic which is just as important.
I find discussion groups very important for any farmer. Farming as we all know can be isolating and you might only see the back of a cow from one end of the week to the other. Especially after a year like this, you would be surprised how better you feel after attending a group meeting. If the year is tough due to weather bad prices etc.
You might feel everything is going wrong on the farm and that it's your fault or your making bad decisions in relation to the farm, but attending group meetings you will find that everyone is in the same boat and that in itself can be a relief.
Name: Aran Connell
Farm: Dairy farm, milking 140 Holstein Friesian’s in farm partnership with his father.
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Performance:18 litres, 4.30bf, 3.92 protein, SCC - 140, Cow being fed 5kgs of ration
This Week -
Cow yield has slipped a little, but it is bound to happen at this time of year.
We have increased the ration up to 5kgs, as grass growth is slowing down. All of the grazing ground got 30 units of urea a week ago. We will more than likely be buffer feeding silage in 3 weeks time to help keep the yields up.
Weather has been a great help this month with cows very content and doing zero damage on paddocks. We had a busy week at concrete this week, with the new calving house and milking parlour holding yard nearly finished construction. We must just make up a lot of gates now!
The Week Ahead -
This week's plan is to finish emptying the slurry tanks for the winter ahead.
We will also wash and oil the silage making machinery and continue to finish off the new yard and shed. We must also do a few yard repairs on cattle sheds for the winter, along with some new lighting around the yard to help with the dark mornings and nights to come.
Last year we pulled all the fodder beet at the end of this month due to dry conditions. Though this year with land being so dry we will hopefully leave in the field till the middle of November when we would normally start feeding it to stock. It is a case of watching the weather for the next few weeks.