The Mattinson family, Frank, Margaret, Philip and James, have recently moved from Rosewain Farm, Carlisle, Cumbria, UK, to neighbouring farm, Bridgehouse. The farm is home to Troutbeck Ayrshires.
With the home farm split by the railway line, Bridgehouse offers a ring fenced block of land to farm and graze without having to cross a main road. They are now milking 270 Red and White and Ayrshire cows through a 36:36 Fullwood parlour, allowing them to move young stock back from rented land and are now housed in the old cow buildings.
The new system was an 18 month project, flattening the old buildings to build a new cow shed which has capacity for 350 cows with temperature controlled curtain ventilation, IAE cubicles and latex mattresses with a rubber cover.
They have installed the first Triolet robot feeder system in the UK, feeding the milking herd eight times a day and dry cows three times. Previously, cows have been grazed during the summer but now with the robot feeder, milk cows will be housed all year.
“Production of two year olds has noticeably increased,” commented Frank. “Head locks help reduce competition from older cows. Production has also increased for older cows and the shed is very quiet due to the cows being very content.”
TMR is made up of first and second cut silage, whole crop barley, fodder beat and blend.
Currently, the herd is averaging 8600kg at 4.54%bf and 3.46%p, and milk is sold for cheese production through Arla.
Calves are reared on Automatic feeders with milk replacer for 60 days, their diet then moves to straw and concentrate, then older heifers are fed silage and fodder beat.
Investment is being made in Red and White Holsteins and an Absolute granddaughter of Suard Red Jordan Irene (EX-96) is being sold in the Perfection Collection Sale.
Current AI sires are Joeteni, Red Impulse, Aladdin, Winton Famous and Changue Stadium.
The Mattinsons are unanimous about their herd favourite, Troutbeck Burdette Jess (EX-93). Now in her third lactation she won her class at the Royal Highland Show as a two and three year old.
Investment has also been made in renewable energy with a wind turbine and solar panels at Troutbeck.