Coast & Country News January 2016

Page 9


Page 9

Animal welfare a high priority

Innovative Design Improves Efficiency

ween are fed bet The cows nd 18kg of a e thre per day ts per cow supplemen on pasture cover. g dependin

Ezi-flo pit gates completely clear exit ways and cannot be touched by cows leaving the milking area.

The fully galvanised gates are available in kitset for speedy installation

“The first time I went to move the dry cows out of the shelter, I did what I normally did in the paddocks – opened the gate and took off down the race to open up the new paddock – expecting the herd to be right behind me – but there was no-one there – they were still in the HerdHome staying out of the rain.” Now the cows are allowed to amble between pasture and the shelter in their own time, but if the weather is very hot, cold, or wet, they are moved back inside once they’ve had enough pasture to eat and may stay off the paddocks for a maximum of 20 hours. Animal welfare is a high priority for Rex and Sharon. They gain satisfaction from farming happy, healthy cows.

Quality of life

“They pay you back 10-fold – it’s really a no-brainer. If any of our cows had to be sold and go to a conventional farm, I’d feel sorry for them because I think their quality of life would go down. Here they are free from heat stress in summer and the cold in the winter.” The Butterworths concentrate on prevention not cure; maintenance not repair, and housing the herds helps make that happen. Mastitis at calving time has halved largely due to udder cleanliness as the cows can be taken off the paddocks in

wet and muddy conditions. The Somatic Cell Count is currently sitting in the 90-120 range. The clear roof over the buildings allows sunlight through, killing light-sensitive bacteria and drying the floor.

40+ years experience Proven reputation for excellence

Trust the experts Direct from truck to hopper Fast Accurate Even spread

2 C OW S H E D Ph Jim 07-850 5971 Mob. 0274 936 693 Ph Chris 07-849 3630 Mob. 0274 936 692 P.O. Box 10 188, Te Rapa, Hamilton



Shade sails

Shade sales are employed in summer to help keep the shelter cool; and Rex says not only is it cooler inside, thanks to their design, but the air is also constantly circulating. The system means lactation length is not as heavily influenced by cow condition, pasture cover or the weather. The HerdHomes Shelter have brought significant animal welfare, environmental and financial benefits to the Butterworth Enterprises operations but careful and prudent financial management and keeping a close eye on costs are also vital. So too is the roles of farm managers Vernon and Barbara. “Their contribution has been outstanding and we couldn’t be happier with their efforts. “They should be, and have every right to be, proud of what they have helped us achieve.” To find out more about Butterworth Enterprises and the Dairy Business of the Year Awards, go to See page 10 for DairyNZ comments on herd barns. Elaine Fisher

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