First milk recording of the year, heifers calved, slurry spread, diets formulated, falling yields due to the introduction of heifers to the herd, grass protein levels, OAD milking benefits and more discussed.
Name: Aran Connell
Farm: Dairy farm, milking 140 Holstein Friesian’s in farm partnership with his father.
Location: Mizen Head, West Cork.
Performance: Calved cows 34 litres @ 4.40% Butterfat & 3.61% Protein. Stale cows 16 litres.
This Week -
Cows are milking extremely well at the moment. We have started to work with Specialist Nutrition and have balanced diets made up for the milkers.
Freshly calved cows are put into the stale cow group for 7 days to build them up to the heavy diet. The diet Includes beet, Wet distillers grains, Maize meal, soya, barley and post-calving minerals along with yeast. The diet is to service cows milking 35 litres and also to increase BCS.
It is costing about €4.49 per cow per day.
Coming up this week -
We have 50 cows calved with another 100 to go. All is going well with the calves.
We have spread some more slurry with most of the silage ground covered now. No fertiliser has been put out yet, but in the next week or two we will start putting out a bit.
Cows won't be hitting grass for another few weeks. There's plenty grass about but land is quite wet.
Name: Patrick Mc Carthy
Farm: Milking 48 crossbred Jersey herd
Location: Ballydehob, Co. Cork.
Performance: Cow Performance 01/02/19 OAD. Cows Calved 30 out of 48
Yield = 15 litres, Butterfat = 4.68, Protein = 3.51, SCC = 124, Meal = (5kgs 16% Dairy Nut), Grass = out for the full day, Silage at night.
This Week -
I did my first milk recording of the year last Wednesday 30th January. It was my first time doing a recording on OAD and it was interesting to see the results.
One thing I learned is which cows would suit the Once A day milking full-time and which cows would not suit it. From the recording, I picked out 10 cows that might suit the system, with yields from 19 to 26 litres. There areonly 2 out of 8 of my heifers that might suit OAD.
This is why I have said in previous updates Once A Day milking is not something you should jump into. You need a cow that will deliver high kgs of milk solids and a cow that is low in somatic cell count. Also please note, I didn't judge cows on just one milk recording in relation to going OAD fulltime.
I have 8 heifers calved, so they will naturally bring down my yield. I am not overly worried at cows been on 15 litres. Cows have been in the last 3 days but before that cows were producing milk off of mostly grass with one bale at night and 5kgs of dairy nuts
Grass has been at 23% to 24% protein and with grass in the diet and 1 bale and 5kgs of 16% dairy nut, cows were getting 16.2 UFL which is what my cows require for this time of the year.
No doubting I could supply more milk if I was twice a day for January, but it reduces labour for me which makes life a lot easier as well as reducing costs of electricity eg milking machine etc. So going forward, I will continue doing once a day for the first month of calving. I will go back to twice a day On Monday 4th February.