Situated near Cullyhanna, Armagh, Denis Connell rears 200 dairy heifers a year at Quarry House Farm, with the help of his wife, Jackie. Denis first introduced Actisaf into his heifer feed back in 2010, to resolve problems that his heifers were experiencing with rumen health, such as reduced intakes and cud balls. Actisaf proved so effective at mitigating these issues that it has remained a key component of the ration ever since.
Denis buys in heifers at 6-12 months of age and they are fed a mixture of meal, silage, minerals and Actisaf Farm Pack through the TMR. They are kept indoors during the winter, graze in the summer months, and his aim is that they are sold at between 28-30 months of age, as he finds customers like to buy strong heifers that can hit the ground running when they join a dairy herd.
“Getting a newly arrived group of young heifers settled as quickly as possible on to our ration is absolutely vital,” explained Denis, “as this ensures decent growth rates in the future. Actisaf helps with this transition process and I have been impressed with how quickly new arrivals take to our feeding regime.”
As well as improvements in rumen health, Denis has also seen better growth rates, fertility and feed utilisation since he started using Actisaf. “I am very happy with the results that I have been able to achieve - my heifers are really flying now.”
Denis has built a strong reputation among buyers for providing strong, healthy heifers and sells to regular customers across the UK and Ireland. “Actisaf is a key part of our approach and I will certainly continue to use it,” he said.
He also turned to Actisaf when he reared a small batch of young calves, using a calf bucket that contains a mixture of Actisaf and Safmannan and is mixed with milk.
“We had a scour problem but after 2 or 3 days of using this product in the milk the calves were better and they really flew - intakes were up and they then grew well.”