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C HOLSTEIN


The Holstein Celebration was held in the South West for the 2014 event. Spanning over a period of three days, the occasion saw attendance of over 120 with over 200 people attending the Gala Dinner.


Day 1: Bettiscombe herd & Worthy Farm The event kicked off with a trip to Bettiscombe Holsteins, home of Roland, Heather and Simon Bulger at Pilsdon Dairy Farm, Bridport where the family have been farming since 1987. Farming for four generations the Bulger family were tenant farmers at Lower House Farm prior to 1987. Ernie Bulger – the second generation farmer – bought the first Black & Whites in the 1950s, and with encouragement from son Roland, the herd was later registered at the Bettiscombe herd. Once the herd had expanded, the family were fortunate enough to purchase Pilsdon Dairy Farm. In 2008, with Simon’s enthusiasm for dairying and pedigree breeding, it was decided to amalgamate the two herds. Bettiscombe has since grown from 80 to 540 cows and 800 followers. And with the amalgamation, the Bulgers built an impressive purpose built new unit incorporating as many welfare friendly facilities as possible. The key features are: r Perimeter feed sheds for their natural ventilation r 40x40 Boumatic Rapid Exit parlour r Sand bedded cubicles r Flood wash cleaning system for cow housing passages r Automatically filling and emptying footbaths r Automatic segregation to the handling facilities r Handling race and tip over foot trimming crush


ABOVE Simon Bulger of Bettiscombe Holsteins gives his welcome with father, Roland.


The aim at Bettiscombe is to achieve maximum milk volume and level profile bonuses to return the highest possible milk price per litre. This year, their total milk sales will exceed 6.5 million litres. At present the in-milk cows are averaging 37 – 38 litres milk sold per cow per day with cell counts consistently around 100 and bactoscans below 20. With genetics being very important to the Bulger family, they have always used the best possible genetics affordable to them. In 1997, Roland went to Canada to buy pedigree cows of superior quality for their own herd which resulted in importing 30 pedigree animals. The following year, Simon worked


ELEBRATION


40 THE JOURNAL AUGUST 2014


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