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Stackyard News Feb 07

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500 Dalfibble Holsteins to Sell

On the 15th March 2007 at Dalfibble Farm, Dumfries, John Mackie will disperse his herd of Holstein cattle. This will be one of the largest sales this year with 500 head selling in one day.

Dalfibble Freeman Sylvia

Dalfibble Freeman Sylvia
John Mackie has farmed at Dalfibble all his life and his family have milked cows there since 1898. Large numbers have always been milked at the farm with John’s grandfather milking 90 cows as far back as 1930. By the 70’s Johns father had raised numbers to 150 and in 1999 numbers reached 280 when a new parlour was installed. Since then the farm has seen a steady investment in buildings making it into a modern dairy.

The herd traces back to the original pedigree Ayrshire cattle with Holstein bulls introduced in the late 60’s. John used top ranked high PIN/PLI bulls for a number of years to raise the production, butterfat and protein. Currently the herd rolling average is 9162kg 4.31%bf 3.32%p with a somatic cell count of 167. Four years ago a decision was made to use high type bulls and this now reflects in the milking heifers and young stock for sale; many being sired by the likes of Comestar Outside, Braedale Freeman, Summershade Igniter, Aquila Patron Lucente.

When numbers increased to 280 John purchased four main lots of cattle. 40 in calf heifers were bought from Mackies in Aberdeenshire, 30 cows and heifers from the highly respected Petteril herd at Penrith and another 30 from the Cassiegill dispersal in 2003.

The animals purchased from the elite herd at Petteril revitalised John’s interest in pedigrees and today much of the herd has been upgraded /registered. John’s herdsman Stuart Gilliand has also maintained a strong interest in the show ring with recent success at the Dumfries and Moffat shows and having calves at the All Breeds All Britain Calf Show in Stoneleigh.

There are many attractions in this dispersal that should be highlighted for the dairy producer looking for robust genuine Holstein cattle. Firstly the excellent choice on sale in one day with 500 head selling giving everyone a great selection to buy from. Secondly these cows can milk! The current yield is 32.3kg daily and in the past six months they have not dropped below 31.5kg. Along with this impressive production is very high butterfat and protein percentages 4.3%bf and 3.32%p. Generally speaking they are medium sized cows perfect for cubicle systems. They have strong feet and legs with silky well attached udders. Another great attraction is the age of the herd 72% being in their first three lactations with 75 in their first 67 in their second and 44 thirds. As mentioned above the young stock are an attractive group of cattle all sired by high type sires they are strong and powerful for there age.

Herd management is kept as simple as possible; the cows are feed on a Total Mixed Ration. Pregnancy Diagnosis is performed on monthly basis with the cows all housed in cubicles. The herd is vaccinated for IBR BVD and LEPTO and they are in a TB free area. 

Anyone interested in attending the sale that needs help with travel arrangements should contact Glyn Lucas 07711 610255. John welcomes anyone to view the cows before the sale or if they would like any further information on the cattle to please contact him on 01387 860208. As a thank you to the purchasers, all animals over 1000gns will come with a bottle of Scotch Whisky. Catalogues are available by contacting Harrison & Hetherington 01228 640924.

[sale report]

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Harrison & Hetherington Auctioneers
Harrison & Hetherington Auctioneers