Culling

  • Culling Considerations

    I never really liked 2036.

    She was the wild one as a calf. Then as a heifer she had a “spooky” look in her eye and she was always the one who went the wrong way when trying to get a mob through a gate.

    After having calved she caused our sharemilker some grief trying to break her in, so it was no surprise that when it was my turn to milk at the weekend, he warned me to “be a bit careful” with her.

    Both Saturday milkings had been uneventful, so maybe my guard was down, but on a cold frosty Sunday morning, she got me with a well-timed and savage kick, flush on my frozen fingers.

    As tears welled up in my eyes, I muttered “That’s it, you’re gone!”, but probably using a lot more colourful language and at high volume!

  • Lessons from history

    Cows leaving the dairy

    The last significant in-season drop in the price of milk to suppliers was in 2008, and that doesn’t take a long memory to recall – it is hardly ancient history!

    The price drop in 2008 triggered a range of responses, some of which produced significant lessons which shouldn’t be forgotten.

    In terms of milk quality and mastitis control there are three lessons that should probably be recalled now to avoid history repeating itself.

  • When frustration sets in!

    Leon's cell count chart

    “I culled the 10 highest cell count cows and the cell count didn’t change – not at all!”

    Leon* was frustrated – very frustrated!

    He milks about 300 cows in Northern Victoria with a spring/autumn split calving system, and I could hear the frustration in his voice.

    Leon supplies a processor where the premium payment threshold for Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) is 250,000 cells/ml. The farm has been constantly in and out of premium band for a couple of years now, and nothing he has done has solved the problem.

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