Perfect Performance

Thompsons’ Richard Moore visited the Corryglass Herd in Fintona to view how the herd has improved and excelled over the past few years. And how Thompsons’ new Performance Pack will become an integral part of their daily management routine.

The newly launched ‘Lifetime Dairy’ concept from Thompsons, splits the life of a dairy cow into three key phases;

1. Heifer Rearing Phase

2. Dry Cow Phase

3. Lactation Phase

Both the heifer rearing and the dry cow phase are important times of investment into the dairy cow, with no immediate return, however this is critical to ensuring they achieve their maximum lifetime performance. The newly launched, Thompsons’ Health Pack for dairy replacements and Dry Cow Pack, ensure that the whole dairy herd are equipped with the ultimate in mineral nutrition, both for immediate short term and longer-term benefit.

It is the lactation phase which not only must pay back these investments but must pay for daily milk production costs and leave a margin at the end. To achieve this, the lactating cow requires the very best in terms of environment, health, management and nutrition to ensure that she produces to her maximum genetic ability. Maximising milk production is the ultimate performance goal, both in volume and in quality, however there are many elements that contribute to this, such as fertility, lameness, udder health and immunity. 

The Performance Pack from Thompsons equips the high yielding dairy cow with a mineral package to enable her to meet this performance potential and completes the three phased ‘Lifetime Dairy’ concept.  

At the core of Thompsons’ Performance Pack is the Availa 4 mineral package from Zinpro a uniquely protected combination of Zinc, Copper, Manganese and Cobalt. Global research consisting of over 20 peer reviewed trials and over thousands of cows globally have conclusively demonstrated four keys benefits from using the product.

1. Production – Improved milk yield of 0.9litre/day.

2. Fertility – days to conception reduced by 13 days.

3. Lameness – 30% less claw lesions.

4. Udder health – 14.5% reduction in SCC and associated reduction in cases of mastitis.

Further enhancing the Thompsons’ Performance Pack is the inclusion of an industry leading level of Vitamin E optimising immune function, udder health and milk quality, which may prove particularly important as we move our industry towards minimised use of antibiotics.

The 375-strong herd of Corryglass Holsteins in Fintona, managed by father and son team Dessie and Johnathan Moore alongside son in law Timothy, is a herd that puts ‘maximum performance from every cow’, at the top of their daily management agenda. Milked by the family three times daily, alongside a team of part-time and full-time milkers, the rolling average milk sold/cow/year to the end of August 2020, sits at an impressive 11,500 litres.  

Calving of the - predominantly housed - herd continues on a daily basis throughout the year to provide a consistently level profile of milk - in line with their contract - and over the course of the summer the daily average yield remained steadily at 40 litres/day and above, while on this year’s high quality first cut silage made in mid-May. The herd is managed around a high and low yielding batch system with three cut grass silage, brewer’s grains and tailored blends which form the foundation of the daily mixed rations. Cows are fed to yield through the parlour on Glucolac 150 nuts at 0.45kg/litre above the maintenance level of the various TMR mixes, after an initial lead feed phase, with emphasis on controlling dietary protein levels and balanced levels of fermentable energy in early lactation.     

Animal health is a crucial element of running of a successful dairy business and the Moore family ensure this has remained a priority for ten years, with the inclusion of Availa4 performance minerals in their nutritional package. Fertility, udder health and lameness are well managed on the unit and the current pregnancy rate is 21%, utilising an automated heat detection system, alongside DIY AI, using predominantly Genus ABS bulls. Somatic Cell Count, a key measure of udder health and of significant importance on the farm, currently averages 155 on a rolling basis.  

The past ten years have seen the Corryglass herd more than double in size and increase milk sold by almost 2,000 litres/cow/year. No doubt the same attention to detail and a drive to continually improve will see the further improvements over the next decade.

Maximum performance from lactating dairy cows is the key to profitability and mineral nutrition forms a crucial element in the supplementation of the high yielding dairy cow to achieve her very best. The Thompsons’ Performance Pack is the ultimate in mineral nutrition giving producers complete confidence that maximum performance will be achieved from a healthy long-lived cow.    

Posted 05,10,20 by allison.

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