Two farms have been selected to become Technology Demonstration Farms for the Mobility Improvement theme. Successful applicants were able to demonstrate the following technologies:
- Advanced footbathing facility
- Robust footbathing protocol
- Footbath calibration and product selection
- Routine preventative and timely corrective hoof trimming
- Dedicated hoof treatment facilities
- Selective breeding to improve cow mobility.
Along with this they also showed good communication skills which are necessary for hosting events such as these.
Both farmers are passionate about reducing lameness to improve animal welfare and longevity, reduce yield loss due to poor mobility, improve fertility and feeding behaviour while saving an average of £323 per case of lameness.
Mobility Improvement Farm 1 – John Rafferty, Newry, Co. Down.
The Rafferty family run a herd of 150 cows (115 milking all year round) and rear all replacements. The herd is milked through two Lely A3 robots. Cows are housed all year round and fed a TMR diet or are zero grazed during the grazing season.
Mobility Improvement Farm 2 – Barry O’Loughlin, Swatragh, Co. Derry/Londonderry.
The O’Loughlin family run a herd of 120 cows (105 milking all year round) and rear all replacements. The herd is also milked through two Lely A3 robots. Cows are housed all year round with plans to graze. The herd is fed a TMR diet with additional concentrates required for feed to yield being topped up in the robots.
Dates for group bookings will be available here soon.