Removing actisaf from herd’s diet resulted in return of acidosis…
The inclusion of Actisaf in cow rations has enabled one family farming partnership in Annan, Scotland, to maintain high milk yields without having to worry about the negative impact of acidosis on cow health and performance.
Callum Jamieson (pictured) farms in partnership with his father and two brothers, helping to manage a 400 strong Holstein Friesian dairy herd at Woodhead Farm. Milk is supplied to Arla and yields currently stand at an average of 11,500 litres/year, with butterfat at 3.9 per cent and protein, 3.3 per cent.
“The cows are indoors all year around so that we can carefully monitor their health and performance,” explains Callum. “Calving takes place throughout the year, with the aim for ﬁrst service at 13 months. We are currently working to get ﬁrst calving down to between 22 and 24 months.”
Cows are fed a TMR all year round, with a 50/50 split between forage (grass and whole crop silage) and concentrates. The farm makes use of large quantities of homegrown grass silage, and aims for at least four grass cuts a year; reseeding leys every 4-5 years.
“We have an automated Wasserbauer Butler robot which runs up and down the feed passageways pushing up feed throughout the day,” continues Callum. “As well as pushing up feed, the robot also periodically distributes a small quantity of blend, which draws the cows forward to feed and helps maintain good intakes.”
In order to ensure high levels of milk production and maintain cow energy levels, the farm’s TMR is high in terms of starch and sugar content. Whilst beneﬁcial in many ways, the formulation of the diet can result in problems with acidosis. “