Bespoke minerals pay dividends

Minerals are a vital part of the diet for Rob Fitton’s Holstein herd based at Whatcroft in Cheshire. The 900 cow all-year-round calving herd averages 10,000 litres at twice a day milking. Paying attention to detail with the cows’ nutritional requirements pays dividends, believes Rob.

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He credits the bespoke minerals mixes created for him by ForFarmers with achieving pregnancy rates of 31%. “I don’t doubt that our high pregnancy rates are down to our mineral use and getting our calving balance right.

“You’ve got to keep mineral levels right or it can cause issues with fertility. We have our forage analysed and instead of using an off the shelf option our bespoke mixes really target the areas we need to top up.”

ForFarmers creates the bespoke blends for the herd based on Rob’s nutritionist’s specification. “We have one mix for the milking cows and then a dry cow mineral which we balance with magnesium chloride flakes and limestone. This helps get the level of DCAB right to avoid milk fever after calving.”

Even with increased input prices minerals remain a priority he says. “I certainly wouldn’t cut them out, but we have slightly reduced the phosphorous content which is an expensive component.”

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