Live yeast improves health and performance

A simple low cost dairy system is delivering results for one farmer in County Armagh.

Jim Scott, who farms 80 acres in Killylea runs a mixed herd with MRI cows, Brown Swiss and some Holsteins and averages nearly 7,000 litres of milk per cow per year.

Milk quality is excellent, with butterfats of 4.60 per cent and protein levels at 3.94 per cent which Jim puts down to the mix of cow breeds as well as good feeding.

Jim runs the farm single handedly so simple management systems are the order of the day. The herd is grazed in the summer months and then grass is cut and carried in the autumn to make the most of autumn grass.

During the winter months cows have access to self-feed grass silage and are given nuts in the parlour, which are supplied by a local feed mill.
To make sure that rumen health is optimised Jim has fed a compound feed containing protected live yeast Actisaf for more than 10 years and he wouldn’t be without it.

“When we first put Actisaf in the feed we saw fewer overall problems with the cows. They seemed healthier and performance improved,” Jim explained.

And the overall health of the animals bears testament to Jim’s claim. Lameness and mastitis levels are generally low and fertility is good.

“We had tried other yeasts but they just didn’t deliver the same results,” Jim said. “I’m definitely sticking with Actisaf and I wouldn’t take it out of my ration.”

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