Understandably, milk quality is a key performance measure on the farm, and the inclusion of Actisaf® live yeast in the ration is helping to achieve some great results.
The herd is achieving impressive rolling averages of 5.31% butterfat and 3.8% protein and the family was recently presented with the Lancashire NMR trophy for the highest increase in fat and protein yield over the last 12 months, a clear endorsement of the results they are getting.
Cows are milked twice a day and are achieving a rolling average of 6,400 liters annually. This is from a straightforward diet of grass silage, whole crop wheat, molasses, Megalac, minerals, Actisaf® live yeast and a bespoke farm dairy blend from Carrs Billington.
“The herd is housed all year-round in one group,” explained Geoff. “Because they are in one group we use a semi-TMR feed system along with out of parlour feeders.”
Actisaf® was first added to the diet around two years ago. “We didn’t think rumen performance was where it should be,” said Geoff. “The nature of a Jersey’s high energy diet means we are always pushing the rumen hard anyway, and the addition of Actisaf® to the diet helped the rumen function better and we saw higher intakes and better feed conversion soon after we added it to the diet.”
The diet is working well and with the help of Carrs Billington’s technical dairy specialist, Gareth Brolly, ongoing minor changes to the diet and great performance from last year’s whole crop, increases in milk of 1,000 litres per cow have been achieved.
What’s more, fertility rates within the herd are very good. “Our current conception rate is 64% to first service, and our calving interval is 381 days,” explained Deb. “Heifers are kept for replacements, and good longevity means that the family has the potential to expand their herd over the coming years.”
“Actisaf® is a key contributor to the success of the overall diet,” concluded Gareth. “We use it in the diet as a maintenance measure to ensure the rumen is kept healthy and productive and the results speak for themselves.”