William farms in Lissarda and the milk from his 90 pedigree cows goes to the Dairygold Co-operative. With a focus on producing high yields but with good milk solids, his cows average 7,592 kg of milk per year with 4.01% butterfat and 3.4% milk protein, giving total solids of 562 kg per cow.
“To get performance from the lactating cow we pay a lot of attention to our dry cow management to minimise the incidence of metabolic disorders at calving,” William explained.
But care and attention is also lavished on the lactating cows. They are fed a high performance winter ration, with a forage mix of 50% maize silage / 50% grass silage and with the total diet comprising 44% concentrates to 56% forage. This level of concentrate feeding can pose risks in terms of rumen function and acidosis, and on the advice of his nutritionist, William started including Actisaf in his ration two years ago.
“With high maize and concentrate inclusion in our diet it made sense to include live yeast to avoid problems,” William commented. “We started including Actisaf in our TMR mineral and have seen really good performance from the fresh cows since. For example, last year our fresh cows gave 4.34% butterfat and 3.46% milk protein, despite grass silage with low digestibility. I am really pleased with the results and will definitely continue using Actisaf in the future.”