Northland Goat Farmers Make Significant Gains
Whangarei dairy goat farmers, Allan & Lynne Karels’ story is impressive. In their first season working with Mineral Systems they’ve achieved a 30% increase in production/doe, and a 35% increase in production for the season, including increased doe numbers.
This is a substantial lift in production and resulting profitability, and the improvements are continuing into the current season.
This graph shows the average litres/doe milked over a 10 day period for each season. 2013 saw on average an increase of 1L/doe. Litres/doe also continues to lift into the 2014 season.
This graph shows the total production in litres for the 2012 & 2013 seasons.
The Silver Bullet?
There isn’t one of course. Improvements in production of this scale are not made without close scrutiny of, and significant investment in animal health and management. Three major factors contributing to these positive changes are:
The control of sub clinical acidosis
Improved feed management
Personalised trace element and vitamin supplementation to support dietary and goat requirements
“Mineral Systems have given us more insight into the mineral status of our farm and a better understanding of nutrition in our goats” – A & L Karels
Additional improvements continue to be made into the 2014 season. These include:
Improved fertility in the 2013 season - 1100 does kidded in 7 days, up from 800 does in 5 days the previous year
Reduced somatic cell count (See graph below)
Improved condition and goat health
Optimisation of protein:fat ratio
Graph showing total somatic cell count at pickup, averaged over a 10 day period. A cell count of below 900 000 was achieved throughout much of the season.
Where to from here?
Despite a cold and wet start to the season production has continued to lift in 2014. The Karels’ are continuing to enjoy improved animal health in what has been a tough and challenging season in the north.
They are aiming for further increases in production and managing diet through feed analysis is how they will achieve this. For Dairy Goat Co-op suppliers there is a minimum requirement of 75% forage based feed, which includes grass and silage/baleage. The more information you have on your alternative feed contributions, the more accurately you can adjust the ratios to get maximum value from these inputs. As the Karels’ are supported by our monthly monitoring programme the ability to interpret feed analyses and make informed decisions is all within the agreed monthly investment.
“Mineral Systems are easy to deal with and always available for advice” – A & L Karels