Happy Viking Jersey farmers in Scotland
Boquhan farm in Kippen in Scotland produces both milk and beef. The farm is owned by Robert Graham and herd manager is Steve Jones. They milk 240 purebred Jersey cows and uses bulls from VikingJersey. Beside that they also breed 40 Limousine cows.
A few years ago, the owners and workers decided to develop the production, and during the last few years there has been a lot of changes in the management and the milk production has increased from 5,400 kg to 6,800 kg per cow. The most effective change has probably come from improved nutrition.
“We wanted to increase milk production but keep high components at the same time – and we’ve succeeded!” Steve Jones says. Fat content is currently 5.96 %.
Daughter fertility is important and Steve is telling us proudly: “to decrease the age at first calving has been a big cost-saver. The average age today for first calving is 24 months, and it works very well.”
The Alderston Jersey herd is located in Scotland close to Edinburgh where they milk about 260 pure-bred Jersey cows. Most of them have a Danish pedigree, first from importation of Danish heifers, and now they use many different sires from VikingGenetics – including many young genomic sires.
The milk production of Alderston Jerseys is one of the highest in the whole UK with about 24 kg milk/cow/day, which results in an average production of 7,300 kg, fat content 5.5% and protein 3.9%. The average age at first calving in the herd is 24 months.
Genomic bulls improve the Alderston herd
Andrew Hastie owns the herd together with his father, Gordon, and brother, David. They started using genomic bulls about four years ago and the first generation is now in production. “The cows look good and they are very productive, so the decision has been right”, Andrew says. About 80% of the services are made with genomic bulls now.
Andrew explains that the most popular bulls this year have been VJ Husky and VJ Hilario of the proven bulls, and the genomic sires VJ Hihl, VJ Lukowa, VJ Libero and VJ Rodme have been used a lot. The lasting effect of Q Impuls can easily be seen in the herd, since they used almost 300 doses of Impuls a few years ago.
Both these herds will feature in the upcoming World Jersey Cattle Bureau, (WJCB) world conference schedule later this year. If you are interested in this event and would like further details, apply to Roger Trewhella (Also Secretary of WJCB) WJCB or for a brochure