Peter and Sheila Cox’s experience with AHV
So here at Mearfield Farm, we farm in partnership my wife Sheila and I and my parents. We farm roughly around 150 cows in milk all year round calving, here in lovely sunny South East Cornwall. We decided roughly 12 years ago to move away from conventional milking to robotic milking and haven’t looked back. We’ve put a lot of investment into the genetics of the herd over the last 20 years which has produced a cow now that produces a lot of milk with high constituent values, placing us currently at number one in Cornwall for combined fats and proteins on the NMR list.
We decided to give AHV a try
We first got involved with AHV last spring, we met them at the Dairy Tech event. We were looking for different products that we could use for our young stock to help with the immunity gap. So we are using some of the products from the Calf Programme and we’re finding great results.
Our AHV protocol for our calves
When the calf is born, once it has its colostrum from its mum, it’s then fed for a few days with its mum, I then take the calf on, straight onto milk powder and we introduce the Calf Start Powder for the first two weeks. After that, she’s onto the Booster Powder. We then move the calves onto an automatic feeder which is made into a bulk feed and supplemented with Booster Powder. Reco Paste is used, not very often but if we have any digestive upsets.
We’ve seen good live weight gains right through to weaning and a continuous growth plane right through from birth up to weaning when they come off the AHV products.
We found that when the calves finish weaning at around 9 weeks, we don’t find any post weaning dip which we used to find quite noticeably, they just carry on the same plane of growth.
Support from AHV
With Bens advice looking at the national records and uniform files, this has allowed us to target specific animals with udder health issues. This allows us to put more saleable milk into the tank and giving us more profit on the farm.
AHV have been very supportive since meeting them originally. With continued visits whenever required and Ben is always on the end of the phone whatever time of day or day of the week.
Our AHV protocol for our cows
Starting at the dry period we use the AHV Booster Tablet, given to all cows roughly around two weeks pre calving. This allows the cow to transition well and remove any negative energy balance risk post calving which has worked extremely well. Any cows that are potentially higher risk through uterine health, maybe they’ve had twins etc or a later lactation cow, will be administered a StartLac Paste and a Metri Tablet which aids uterine health and obviously brings that cow back into open period first service quicker, closing down the number of open days post calving. This will lead to less replacements required and more profitable milk. It gives us the added bonus of allowing us to use a product range that in modern day milk production, a lot of our milk buyers are looking at alternatives to animal health and this really ticks that box.
Products mentioned by Peter and Sheila Cox
Milk Start Tablet
Get in touch!
Would you like to be visited by an advisor to discuss the health challenges on your farm together? Our AHV Specialist will be happy to visit you to jointly assess the health of your cows and come up with appropriate cow-specific advice.
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