Testing day at the dairy

Today was a very busy day at Clover Hill. We hosted 10 Argentinian vets and cattle consultants who are touring the South Coast looking at different dairy systems before heading off to the huge event in Rockhampton next week that is Beef Australia 2012 .

In between this we used the midday milking to herd test and record the Clover Hill cows.

Whilst Clover Hill has a very modern dairy we haven’t got milk metres installed so we have someone come every 4 weeks to measure how much milk each cow produces. I have pictured it below and please note this is a fairly old fashioned way of doing this. The dairy at Lemon Grove is fully computerised with milk metres built in and we daily get milk records. It would cost us almost $40k to upgrade the Clover Hill dairy to do this and with milk selling for the ridiculous price of $1/litre there isn’t enough in the kitty and until Coles get over this marketing stunt I cant see an upgrade coming anytime soon     

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The girls come home for their 4 week herd recording

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Herd recording apparatus

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Nick installs the milk metres and gives his mum a big smile 

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Emma collects each cow’s herd recording number and writes it on each milk metre

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Whilst the other girls wait patiently for their turn

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Nick explains the process to the Argentinians

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The herd recorder measures the amount of milk each cow produces

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and records the details on a spreadsheet

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Then a sample of each cow’s milk is collected in small bottles and this is sent to the herd recording test centre where the following data is measured

  • volume of milk
  • fat and protein percentages
  • individual cow cell counts (SCC) – this helps determine the udder health 

We receive a herd test report after each test day and an annual report which summarises the performance of the herd for the season plus masses of other data which help us make decisions on breeding and management of the herd.

Over the years we have had some very high producing cows indeed .

This is Dimples who holds the Australian record for both the most amount of milk and kilograms of protein in 305 days with a whopping 22,734 litres of milk and almost 700kgs of protein .   

Dimples .

This is Tangalla Leduc Fond 2EX who holds the record for the most amount of milk and protein produced by a three year old cow. Fond is also a bit of a looker and is one of our top show cows. Fond produced 17,214 litres of milk and 541kgs of protein when she was just three years old  

Tangalla Leduc Fond 

And the world renowned Tina who has produced the most amount of lifetime milk by any cow in Australia has just calved again  See previous story here http://wp.me/p22l8m-b2 . On top of this Tina has just turned 17 and recently featured in Holstein International 

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Tina just before she had her thirteenth calf. Wow she looks pretty sprightly doesn’t she?

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

One thought on “Testing day at the dairy”

  1. Got to love that shot of Tangalla! Beautifully groomed tail and all, she’s gorgeous and I think she knows it from that shot. Tina looks like a real champ! Seventeen is pretty impressive, when does she get to retire?

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