LTL Partnership: New Housing & Parlour Investment
Two farming families are working together at Leigh near Stoke on Trent investing in the future of their dairy business.
Trading as the LTL Partnership the Prince and Ede families have invested in new housing and are in the final stages of building a new parlour. The fourth-generation family business is focused on increasing the herd size, currently at 178 Friesian Holsteins, to better utilise the new housing and parlour.
The family members that form the partnership are Tony, Jo, Felicity, and David Prince and Ken, Margaret, Daniel, Christopher & Alex Ede. They have been CIS customers for the last four years, the family milk record and use the health testing service.
They access all data via the web-based YourHerd management program which displays whole herd and individual cow performance. The secure portal allows 24/7 access to input events, register new births with BCMS, with breed society links, and download reports. The program meets farm assurance legislation with linked movement book and medicine records. Access to YourHerd is free to CIS customers and is also available as a MobileHerd App for iPhone, iPad and Android devices whilst out and about on the farm.
Data provided from the analysis of milk samples is invaluable to helping improving herd health and profitability. Importantly they share the data with the vet and nutritionist to focus as a team on getting all elements right for each cow and the overall herd.
The herd now has new housing which features parallel cow cubicles, Bateman’s 3rd generation of European style cow cubicle designed specifically with large Holsteins in mind. The extra "kick" on top of the loop raise the head rail to allow the animal to stand with all four feet on the bed. This was done to reduce lameness by removing the pressure sent to the rear feet when the animal would stand with its front feed on the bed but its back feet in the scrape passage. The super comfort cow cubicles installed will be bedded with sawdust. The housing will also feature new LED lights which will be more efficient cost wise and cow friendly.
The new GEA parlour is a 16/32 with the framework for a 20/40 to allow for future expansion and is being supplied and fitted by Mark Bayley. It will feature in parlour feeders, auto ID, the cows will be fitted with heat detector collars, will have Apollo cluster flush system. The parlour will provide more standing room for the cows so they will be more inclined to enter the parlour and be happier in there. It features a much larger exit walk than the current parlour which will reduce the amount of front foot sole ulcers that the cows currently have due to the angle they turn out the current parlour. Once installed milking will become a one person job rather than two and it will half our current milking time which will mean big savings on the electricity bill. Fitting begins just before Christmas and the family aim to have it up and running by the end of Jan if not sooner.
The future is an exciting one for the partnership, the family hope there will be more stability in the dairy industry with milk price and contracts.
Amanda Wilkes, CIS Area Manager with David Prince.