Midlands - Park House Farm - Staffordshire

Area: Staffordshire

Trading Title: The Sigley Partnership. This includes Jonathan, wife Nina and parents Norman and Christine.

Farm Address: Park House Farm, Consall, Stoke on Trent.

Milking herd numbers: 125 cows.

Herd yields: 9,250 litres a cow a year at 4.05% fat and 3.21% protein.

Breeding: Predominantly Holstein Friesian.

Replacement rate (%): 27%.

Calving interval (days): 390 days.

Calving pattern: All year round calving with a heavy autumn bias.

Average age at first calving current (months): 26 months.

Average age at first calving target (months): 24-25 months.

Average heifer yield: 8,500 litres.

Calf housing set up: Calves are kept in individual calf pens up until weaning when pens are joined together so calves are managed in groups in the same shed. Two sheds are used, one of which is a 4-5 year old, purpose built building designed for good ventilation and ease of management.

Calf feeding system: The first colostrum is collected from the dam at the next milking after calving. Calves are then tubed with up to 2.5 litres of colostrum, depending on whether the calf has sucked. The calf remains with the dam for up to 12 hours and receives it’s own dam’s milk for the first four days. The calf then moves onto 2.5 litres of calf milk replacer fed twice daily in buckets at a rate of 250g/litre. Concentrates are provided from three days old and hay from one week old.

Main person responsible for calf management: Norman and Jonathan Sigley.

Weaning target (weeks/weight/feed intake): Calves are moved onto once a day milk feeding prior to weaning at 8 weeks old. Stock are weigh banded regularly and weaned when eating a minimum of 2kg of concentrate a head per day.

Any other information of interest: The Sigleys are currently experimenting with cross breeding with the view to having a small group of April/May calving animals to produce more summer milk. This could involve crossing first to Norwegian Red, followed by Brown Swiss or Fleckvieh.