Alltech and Keenan host spring 2017 roadshows for a successful breeding season

The breeding season on Irish dairy farms is fast approaching and there are a number of factors that farmers need to bear in mind to achieve the best possible results this spring.

A successful breeding season can have a positive impact on the profitability of dairy farms. Having your cows in an adequate Body Condition Score (BCS) is critical to achieving this.

Factors such as health and the use of supplementary feedstuffs also need to be considered – as both play a key role in the reproductive performance and in-calf rates achieved at farm level.

To help farmers fully understand the importance of health, supplementation and Body Condition Score, Alltech and Keenan are hosting a series of Spring 2017 Roadshows.

Expert discussions

The four roadshows will feature a number of expert speakers, including top vets and nutritionists, to help clear up any uncertainties farmers may have in advance of the breeding season.

The expert speakers will discuss, in detail, topics such as health challenges affecting fertility, feed choices and strategic feeding for fertility.

The roadshows, which kick off today, have been designed for farmers who want to get the health of their cows ‘right’, before the breeding season.

It is also for farmers wondering what is the correct diet to use at this time of the year and how best to implement a supplementation strategy – in order to maximise grass intake.

These three factors are critical for maximising production, while also looking after the cow’s Body Condition Score.

Latest Keenan machines on show

Along with expert discussions, the roadshows will also showcase some of the latest technologies available from Keenan.

Operating at these demonstrations will be a Keenan MechFibre paddle-type mixer, as well as the new Keenan vertical-auger machine. This will be the first demonstration of the Keenan ‘vertical’ range in Ireland.


Both machines feature Keenan’s InTouch technology; it comes standard on all new models and can be retrofitted to existing machines.

The InTouch system guides the operator through the loading of the mixer, thus eliminating waste and ensuring that animals get the diet that was prescribed for them – everyday.

Cathal Bohane, Head of InTouch Nutrition, said the technology offers farmers a number of advantages.

“Our InTouch centre in Kilkenny, where we have a team of nutritionists, looks at live data from the weighing systems on the mixers on a daily basis. If production or intake changes, we can immediately contact the farmer – to get things back on track.

“Even farmers currently on a diet feeding system can benefit from this technology, with results showing an extra 150g of milk solids per day,” he said.

Why should I use a Keenan diet feeder?

Cathal added: “Maximising the amount of grazed grass in the cow’s diet is very important in our system. From time to time, supplementation is needed to support the cows. This supplementation may be needed on the back of high-yielding cows, high stocking rates, poor weather conditions or reducing milk yields.

“Using a Keenan diet feeder gives you the flexibility to do this. It is a safer way to get concentrates into the cows at higher levels.

“It’s also about getting animals ready for a productive life. Using a Keenan mixer, along with our nutrition service, is also important on dry cow and young stock programs.

“It’s not about getting them to eat more feed, but to make better use of the feed they are currently eating,” he added.

Data from almost 32,000 cows last year showed that, by using a Keenan mixer and the InTouch system, milk yield increased by 1.3L per day across the lactation.

When and where?

Alltech and Keenan are hosting a number of farm roadshows from today onwards.

These events will allow farmers to better understand the relationship between health, supplementation, Body Condition Score and breeding.

Four events will take place in total – with the first kicking off today, April 5.

Where and when:
  • James and Andrew Adair, 34 Lislunnan Road, Kells, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT42 3NI – Wednesday, April 5 at 11.30am.
  • John Wynne, Stratford-on-Slaney, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow – Friday, April 7 at 11.30am.
  • Conor Fitzpatrick, Beechmount, Mallow, Co. Cork – Tuesday, April 11 at 11.30am.
  • George Walsh, Anneville, Gaybrook, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath – Thursday, April 13 at 11.30am.
To see the full list of speakers click here