The benefits of adding Actisaf to dairy herd feed rations have been well documented, specifically related to improvements in rumen performance and function. But one dairy farmer in Co Monaghan, Ireland, is convinced that it has also delivered other benefits, as his herd’s fertility has been excellent since making Actisaf a regular part of cows’ diets.
Trevor Williamson of Drum Shamny Farm milks 80 Ayrshire cows, with an average yield of 8,000 litres, with some cows peaking at 60 litres per day. The herd grazes across 180 acres over the summer months and is typically fed around 7kg per head of compound feed a day during the grazing season. Over the winter, compound feed is increased to about 8kg /head/day in addition to plentiful home-grown grass silage. Actisaf is included in feed at 2 kg per tonne, supplied by nearby Corby Rock Mill.
“We decided to add Actisaf in 2014 after an incidence of acidosis, indicated by a sudden drop in butterfat levels, and saw instant improvements and have not had any issues since. We’ve also seen great improvements in our herd’s fertility since then and I’m convinced that Actisaf is making a difference,” explained Trevor.
In 2015, Trevor’s herd achieved the best calving interval in the local Breffnie Oriel Holstein Friesian Club, with an interval of 366 days. He attributed his successes then to Actisaf and he has been able to maintain that level of performance to date.
“On paper, our current calving interval is 374 days, but that includes cows earmarked for culling,” Trevor said. “Once we take that into account, and remove those cows, our calving interval has improved since 2015. I truly believe that using Actisaf has improved the rumen function of our cows and led to this improvement in overall performance and fertility, and my cows won’t go without it anytime soon. It has more than paid for itself on this farm!”