09 May 2019

Farmer Focus: FJ & M Mattinson, Rosewain Farm, Cumbria

The Mattinson family is the oldest farming family name in Cumbria, going back many generations and still going strong today and into the future.  Twin sons Philip and James with parents Frank and Margaret use CIS services to help manage the performance of their pedigree herd of 330 Ayrshires under the prefix of Troutbeck at their 400-acre farm located near Wigton, Cumbria.

In January 2018 the herd moved to a new dairy on a greenfield unit at Bridge House.  The herd is milked twice per day through a Fullwood 36:36 parlour and are fed 20 times per day using the first Triolet robot feeder systems to be installed in the UK. The milking cows are split into three groups and fed grass silage, maize, fodder beet and brewers grains and blend. From early April they are turned out to grass during the day and housed at night.

New cubicle housing, with mattresses and paper bedding, is working really well with increased herd health and welfare as a whole, which makes obtaining and managing an average cell count below 200 achievable.

The herd has a rolling average of 8046kg at 4.68 % butterfat and 3.4% protein.

Milk recording takes place monthly as part of the Ayrshire Pedigree Complete Package, which also includes female pedigree registrations along with type classifications and access to cow mating tools including WebMate and Bull Selector. Disease screening takes places quarterly to monitor as well as meet their milk contract requirements.

Commenting on the health testing service provided by CIS, Frank Mattinson says, “Through Arla, we have an Aldi milk contract which has tight health targets that we have to achieve in order to receive a premium price.  This requires continuous close monitoring to ensure we stay within the boundaries Aldi set.  The herd are tested quarterly for Johne’s, Lepto, IBR, BVDag and BVDab. By using CIS we are able to monitor herd performance and health 24/7 using the secure online portal YourHerd or the mobile app MobileHerd when we are amongst the cows.  It gives us visibility of the whole herd, groups or individual cows with comprehensive data sets available to download enabling us to meet the criteria set for our milk contract.”

Type classification is completed twice a year and being part of the Ayrshire Complete package it is a simple cost-effective way of classifying.  Since using the complete package the family have classified more animals.

All followers are home bred of which 80% are bred to Red and White and bottom 20% to Belgian Blue. The herd’s bloodlines average 50-50 Ayrshire-Holstein and the Mattinson family tend to use Dutch red and white Holstein bloodlines to avoid breeding an extreme type of cow.  The aim is to continually improve productivity and retain the traits of longevity, wear-ability and high constituent value milk to meet the Aldi contract.

An elite sire listed with Cattle Services Ayr is Troutbeck Skyfall with PLI of 353 and Type Merit of 1.1.  Troutbeck Skyfall is a Burdette brother to the breed leading sire West Mossgiel Modern Reality. The Skyfall daughters are fantastic heifers with great deep bodies and great chest width.  His 1st daughters to calve are outstanding individuals with great udders.  Semen is also available from an exciting young bull Troutbeck Progress, a complete bull who is a famous son from Troutbeck Burdette Jess EX95 in her 5th lactation and currently giving 53Kg a day.

The twin brothers Philip and James actively promote their Troutbeck Ayrshire herd and the breed in the show ring with numerous successes at the Royal Highland and AgriScot as well as the All Breeds Calf Show.

For more information on the Troutbeck Ayrshire Herd view and like their Facebook page @TroutbeckAyrshires.