David Hichens, Kerris Dairy, Cornwall manages a Spring Block flying herd on an Arla contract. David is a new entrant having bought the herd in Spring 2021, in-calf to Genus ABS British Blue sires. The herd comprises of 190 head of Jersey X and Irish Friesian X cows; all cattle have now been served back to British Blue. High Beef Advantage™ sires Marksman, Kojak and Lynx have been selected for their Beef Advantage™ scores and Calving Ease.
The herd begins to calve on the 10th February in a 12 week block. “I am really happy with the results from the current breeding season. We averaged a 60% Conception rate and with 140 cows due to calve in the first six weeks it puts us at a 74%, six week in-calf rate with 180 cows pregnant in total. The calves will be sold at three weeks old so high Beef Advantage™ sires have been selected to ensure they are the best quality, yet are born easily.
The results we have achieved this year have been made possible due to the exceptional service that the Genus ABS AI team have provided; allowing me to focus on just heat detection and drafting. I felt confident leaving the serving in the capable hands of our reproduction specialist, Gary Wooton. Whilst the calves are yet to hit the ground, we have achieved the KPI’s we hoped for which places us in a strong position going into the Spring.
At the moment we plan to continue to operate a flying herd in order to maximise cow numbers and keep things simple, although the ultimate aim would be to breed our own replacements when we have space to do so.”