forced to stop milking, advice on making suckle herd from dairy

Discussion in 'Livestock & Forage' started by ADHDan, Jul 14, 2019 at 10:49 AM.

  1. ADHDan

    ADHDan New Member

    as the title suggests, our milk buyer has announced were being axed because were somewhat out on our own, not enough dairys in the area to be viable, weve been given a 12 month notice to when they stop collecting the milk, i dont want to get rid of the cows altogether so dont suggest 'sell the lot' :ROFLMAO:...

    ive 100ish holstein, and we run a hereford bull (and AI brit blue to the cows), weve got about 25 hereford x heifers and the same amount of blue x heifers as stock we would usually sell as finishers.

    on flat land, steady winters, good grass . im after easy calving and nice temperament over gaining that extra £quid or two at market,

    will the hereford x holstein make the best cows for suckler over the blue x holstein

    if i get a herd of 100 hereford x holstein and buy a Brit blue bull to run with them will they produce decent calves or should i take another step away from the holstein (if it helps our cows were never huge milkers but have longevity, 14year+'s in the herd)


    new to forum, first post, be gentle
  2. Nearly

    Nearly Member

    North of York
    Everyone has their favourite cross for this job.
    Store buyers not keen on whiteheads round here whatever the other end looks like.
    Blue x cows and Angus bull here.
    Would you put a figure on your current yields?
    I know a man done this with 60 5500 litre Friesians and now running 100 sucklers in one bunch. He says life is good.
    Only let them look at silage before calving then increase feed slowly.
  3. Lincs Lass

    Lincs Lass Member

    north lincs
    Keep the cows and make lots of butter and cheese
  4. neilo

    neilo Member

    Meadow Foods I guess? Are there any other milk contracts available in the area, or are you looking to change system anyway?

    Plenty running Blue X dairy as sucklers round here. I wouldn't have thought a Hereford x Holstein is going to produce much of a finished animal, as they'll be pretty plain themselves.:(
    waterbuffalofarmer likes this.
  5. Holsteinfriesian90

    Blue cross Holstein friesian and back to the limo bull. :love:(y)
    bean and topground like this.
  6. Werzle

    Werzle Member

    Limx sucklers for me everytime or you could multi suckle bought in calves on your milkers. With brexit and the beef job as it is anything or breed you do will be a gamble
    betweenthelines likes this.
  7. ADHDan

    ADHDan New Member

    Hi, thanks for the quick replies folks, if ever there’s a time for me to stop milk it’s now, our milk parlour is on its last legs, was designing a new one and getting quotes for next year, id of been well miffed if id built the bloody thing

    cows give 5500/6000, we never pushed them hard, run mixed farm so the dairy never got the full attention.

    we had Lim X when i was growing up and soon as you entered a building or field they would exit the opposite side at full tilt, im not going back to them days, im fatter and slower then i used to be :LOL:

    grow our own silage/maze/cereals/straw for the cows and followers currently, what do you winter feed? i guess i can knock the maze on the head, i imagine 1st cut will make suckle cows fat do i dilute it down with straw in the wagon or should i cut grass for bulk over quality?
    Jackov Altraids and neilo like this.
  8. milkloss

    milkloss Member

    East Sussex
    Go for bulk, keep it simple.
    Kiwi Pete, unlacedgecko and neilo like this.
  9. milkloss

    milkloss Member

    East Sussex
    In fact having stopped milking over a decade ago: keep it simple...... really really simple. No feeder wagon, no bedder, no scraping.

    Keep it simple.

    Did I say that enough? ;)
  10. neilo

    neilo Member

    To be fair, the op may well already have a wagon, cubicles, bedder and feed mangers suited to using the wagon?

    Otherwise, i’d Certainly agree with you.
    spin cycle and milkloss like this.
  11. ADHDan

    ADHDan New Member

    i was working on them being as much input as our followers were, bedded/scraped and fed mon/wed/fri (extra on fri to last the weekend), bedding scraping takes an hour, feeding used to take an hour with the mixer and ingredients but straight silage was 20minutes with the forage box
  12. neilo

    neilo Member

    You’ll soon get leaner once you get some Lims.:whistle: No, if I ever get into beef here, no Limmy blood will feature. Life’s too short.

    Is there scope to increase the arable side, and maybe a small suckler herd to utilise grassland & dairy buildings. No sucklers are ever going to make you rich, or likely pay you minimum wage. Possibly cheaper to buy stores to fatten, if that’s your thing, rather than keep a cow for 12 months to rear your own?
  13. milkloss

    milkloss Member

    East Sussex
    Hmm, yes, you’re right...... But I still think it’s very easy to keep some of the dairyman mindset (nothing wrong with that when you’re milking them) and keep the job too complicated. Spend some money to make it simpler because suckers aren’t going to pay their way realistically so it is very important to have labour, machinery etc is cheap as possible from the start.

    Each to their own though as you say and the op will need to work with what he’s got.
  14. milkloss

    milkloss Member

    East Sussex
    You know where you’re going obviously (y)
  15. ADHDan

    ADHDan New Member

    i grew up with dairy herd, 3 generations have houses on farm site which just wouldnt be the same if the fields around us arent grass with shitters on them, as long as a suckler herd will pay for it self then i want cows to remain, were on sand/gravel, we need the muck anyway
    Nearly, neilo and milkloss like this.
  16. neilo

    neilo Member

    That’s understandable. If you’re on sand/gravel, you could cheapen wintering substantially by grazing fodder crops, even if only for part of the winter, letting them spread their own muck.(y) The wintering cost is the killer for most suckler profitability I’d have thought.
  17. Dkb

    Dkb Member

    I think hex x Holstein cows put back to blue bull would produce nice stock. Cows wouldn’t be that hard to keep in good condition either especially since you’ve got good longevity Holsteins
  18. CharcoalWally

    CharcoalWally Member

    West of Scotland
    Yes, I'd think so.

    I really don't like Holstein genetics in a beef suckler system, but if there's any beef breed that should help to reduce the extremes of the Holstein, then it's surely the Hereford. It'll help to provide a fat cover in the suckler daughter as the Hereford must have some of the best fat cover of any beef breed, and it should help to reduce the ridiculous oversupply of milk at calving down.

    Hereford and Blue both good on temperament by repute, so nothing to choose there, but the Hereford may well keep a better vessel longer-thats worth something off dairy X daughters. Especially if you have long life dairy cows.

    Hereford X Holstein have become quietly popular in certain parts up here.
    Jonny B88 likes this.
  19. harperfarmer

    harperfarmer Member

    Do you want to sell the calves as stores or take them through to finish!?
  20. Lazy Eric

    Lazy Eric Member

    Can you not find another market / buyer for your milk??beef job is not the way to go if I was you .
    The Grinch, jendan and Kingofgrass like this.

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