A New Programme Means a New Project

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Hello everyone,

I have settled back into the routine here in Binh Dinh after the New Year celebrations. Since my last blog there have been major changes on farm. We had a visit from Yen and Siobhan, they spent a week here implementing the Alltech programme. A brief overview of what has changed:

Cows are generally grouped by days in milk. The first big change was to re-group these cows based on milk production. This allows us to accurately feed the cow to her potential milk production. This eliminates the cases of cows being over or under supplied with TMR. We also changed the milking order and synchronised this with feeding. Cows were previously fed before milking which disrupts the cow’s hormone cycle. “Oxytocin” is the hormone released when the cow is stimulated to milk. This allows the cow to let down milk when she enters the parlour. Feeding the cow before milking releases the hormone “adrenalin” which counteracts the effect of Oxytocin, thus efficiency in the parlour is reduced. Also we have included our products; yea-sacc, Hi5, and mycosorb A+ in the diets where Optigen has already been included.

A new programme would not be complete without a new project and I am very excited about this one. My project involves collecting and analyzing data from one month prior to the changes through to my departure from the farm. This will allow me to accumulate a detailed report on what benefits Alltech has brought to the farm here. I will place a special emphasis on mastitis and high somatic cell cows as we expect to see these figures improve due to the changes in management practices and the inclusion of Alltech technologies.

On a lighter note, we went for food to a local restaurant last Sunday. Placed in front of me was a pig’s head. It did not look very glamorous I admit but tasted great. I do have a confession to make, and my mother would not be proud, I ate a pig’s eye. I know it doesn’t sound nice put it really just tasted like pork. I wonder would there be a niche in the market for this type of restaurant in Ireland.

I also began playing soccer with the workers on farm here. This has been great for me, from an exercise and a social aspect. It is a great way to meet and interact with new people. I won’t turn pro just yet, so for the moment I will stick to the Dairy CDP. I will update you on herd performance in the next blog.

Until then keep safe and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Saint Patricks day.