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‘I look for the same in both Holsteins and Jerseys’

Christy McCarthy and family milk 55 cows (35 pedigree Holsteins and 25 pedigree Jerseys) on 60-acres in Balineen, Co. Cork.

Performance: Fat: 4.11; Protein: 3.68; Lactose: 4.78; SCC: 173; TBC: 15

Update

We had a nice bit of rain over the weekend which will drive on growth.

As you can see the SCC and TBC have dropped but I would like them to fall further; SCC under 100 and TBC under 10.

We will milk-record shortly – it may identify another problematic cow that requires treatment.

Calves were sold last Monday in Cork Marts as part of a drop-off service. I was happy with the prices and I hope to move the last two over the coming weeks.

Breeding programme

As I said last week, I am going to discuss my favourite element of farming, our breeding programme.

We run a split-calving system in winter and spring. My objective is to focus on yield, plus conformation and fill the bulk tank with as much quality milk as I can.

I look for the same in both Holsteins and Jerseys. I review their evaluations on ICBF and the country the bull originates from.

Traits I look for;

  • 450+kgs of milk; 
  • Positive in protein percent; 
  • Positive in fertility;
  • + 2.5 in legs+feet;
  • +3.00 udder;
  • +2.00 in body. 

The dam, grand-dam and great-grand dam will have to classified VG. It’s the same with the Jersey, the only positive figure I look for is in the milk kgs area and the breed is negative for this a lot of the time.

A lot of my bulls come from North America and the EU, but I have used Irish sires including AXN and FR2028 with great service on-farm.

Some bulls utilised include; FR4187; FR5599; S3462; FR2420; FR4189 and in terms of Jerseys; S1542; S2297; S3552.

Until next week, stay safe and stay apart.

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