South West - Somerset - Andrew and Mark Creed

Published 30 August 17

Area: Somerset

Trading Title: Knapp Farm Ltd.

Farm Address: Knapp Farm, West Pennard, Glastonbury.

Milking herd numbers: 300 cows.

Herd yields: 9,000 litres at 4% fat and 3.35% protein.

Breeding: The top 75% of cows are served to Holstein with the rest put to Fertility+ beef semen. Heifers are AI’d with sexed semen when they are housed and an Aberdeen Angus bull is used when they are at grass.

Replacement rate (%): 28%.

Calving interval (days): 388 days.

Calving pattern: All year round.

Average age at first calving current (months): 28 months.

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

Average heifer yield: 305 day average of 7,580 litres, 365 day yields of 8,787 litres.

Calf housing set up: Calves are kept in straw pens for 1-1.5 days after birth and then moved into individual hutches where they remain until weaning. After weaning they are put into batches according to age.

Calf feeding system: Calves are tubed with up to four litres of their mother’s colostrum two to three times. The first feed is given within two hours of birth, the second, 12 hours after that and the third, 12 hours after that. Calves are then bucket fed up to four litres, twice a day with a 26% protein calf milk replacer (CMR) fed at 150g/litre. A milk trolley is used to automatically mix the CMR. Calves also have access to fresh water and a calf pellet.

Main person responsible for calf management: Mark Creed.

Weaning target (weeks/weight/feed intake): Calves are step weaned from six weeks of age, with weaning generally occurring at seven weeks of age when they are eating 2kg of concentrate per head per day.

Any other information of interest: Over the last two years the farm team has been using pain relief (non steroidal anti-inflammatories) at de-horning. Andy believes this has helped prevent any dips in feed intake and growth after de-horning.