- Date: 20 Sep 2011
- Venue: Hoy farms, co. Antrim
Andrew Hoy farms with his father Alan and wife Tammy. The family owns 34 hectares and rents an additional 43 hectares and currently milk 115 pedigree Holstein cows.
The current average yield is 8,800 litres per cow from three tonnes of concentrate. Maximising performance from grazed grass and silage is a key priority at Hollybank Farm.
The grazing system comprises a mix of paddocks with strip grazing. Cows are housed at night throughout summer. Sward quality is maintained by mixing grazing and round bale silage.
The Hoy family is committed to a regular and ongoing re-seeding programme. A total of 9 acres was reseeded this year, half of which comprised crop silage undersown with grass.”
Significantly, Andrew makes all the grass silage on the farm in the form of bales. Approximately, 2000 bales of silage are made annually, using family owned own equipment. This approach allows flexibility if grazing grass gets ahead of cows. It also means he can produce quality silage for the milking cows with stemmier bales made for dry cows. The other key component to the feeding equation is the use of out-of- parlour- feeders.
UGS President Norbury Royle added: “Four out-of- parlour- feeders were installed last winter. Prior to that Andrew had been feeding a TMR to the dairy herd. Two different feeds can be offered, courtesy of the out of parlour stations, thereby offering additional flexibility. The cows are also offered concentrates through the parlour.”
He continued: “Significantly, one of the out-of- parlour- feeders, which includes a mineral dispenser, has been installed in the dry cow house. As a consequence, cows can be fed individually, based on proximity to calving and cow condition.
Norbury Royle concluded: “I would like to thank the entire Hoy family for their co-operation in hosting the recent visit. They are an excellent example of what can be achieved by achieving the highest standards of animal husbandry, in tandem with the use of progressive forage production and management techniques.”