How this dairy farmer improved milk production by approximately 2L/cow/day

Nestled in the scenic landscape of rural Northern Ireland, neighbouring the bank of the River Foyle, third-generation dairy farmer Alistair Thompson farms 600 pedigree Holstein cows across two sites at Beaverlodge Farms in Strabane, Co. Tyrone.

Calving all year round, Alistair’s cows are currently averaging 8,500L. A thorough approach to animal husbandry and cow health is the number one priority for Alistair.

A stringent management policy has been put in place at Beaverlodge Farms to ensure that herd health and good nutrition is prioritised to produce strong healthy calves and cows.

The milking cows are housed on water beds, which is said to reduce the effects of heat stress on the herd and aid milk production.

Changing from a non–KEENAN tub feeder to a KEENAN MechFiber400, fitted with a KEENAN controller and the InTouch feed management platform, Alistair has improved milk production by approximately 2L/cow/day since 2018.

“We’re very happy with the machine. We’ve seen a significant lift in milk production, on the exact same ration since getting the KEENAN.

“The feed is visibly better mixed and is uniform along the whole length of the feed barrier. There is far less sorting and the animals are getting a consistent diet,” said Alistair.

“We have also found the InTouch system invaluable for controlling ration costs and making sure the cows receive the exact diet every day, regardless of who does the feeding. We only thought we knew how to feed cows prior to using the KEENAN and InTouch system.”

‘Control 24/7, 365 days a year’

Working with InTouch gives Alistair the control to efficiently measure, monitor and manage the cows’ diet.

Data from the KEENAN controller is fed back into InTouch, which is operated by a skilled team of nutritionists who work one-on-one with the farmer to ensure their animals meet their performance potential every day.

Alistair can update the ration diet in less than five minutes and be assured that his cows are receiving consistent mix quality, delivering significant improvements in herd health and animal performance.

“Alistair has used other types of diet feeders in the past, however, the reason he chose to purchase a KEENAN diet feeder was the unique MechFiber ration and the ability of the KEENAN controller to ensure his cows were getting the required feed.

“He gets control 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Gareth McAllister, KEENAN regional sales manager, Northern Ireland.

“There’s no doubt that good husbandry and a consistent diet is the cornerstone for milk production. Coupling this with a quality feeding programme consolidates Alistair’s efforts and helps to guarantee that his on-farm targets are met,” McAllister added.

Open Day

For more information on KEENAN diet feeders and InTouch feed management, attend the KEENAN Open Day, taking place on Tuesday, June 18, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm in the manufacturing facility located in Borris, Co. Carlow.

Attendees on the day can avail of exclusive Open Day offers on the full range of new and used KEENAN diet feeders, live demos of the KEENAN Vertical Auger machine and the MechFiber bale handler.

There is also a behind-the-scene guided tour of KEENAN’s manufacturing facility and an informative farmer panel discussion, hosted by InTouch feeding specialist, Seamus Callanan.

Join Ireland’s leading agriculture companies, Moocall, Herdwatch, Samco, Grasstec, InTouch, Embrace Farm and InTouchGo as they exhibit the latest in ag-tech and on-farm support services.

Further information

For more information on the KEENAN Open Day, contact your local KEENAN representative today by phoning: 00353 (0) 59-977-1200; or by email at: [email protected].