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RIGHT Both pure
Friesian and Holstein
Friesian bulls are sold
off the Brinkworth yard
FAR RIGHT
Rosemary and Joe
Collingborn, keen
protagonists of using
both Holstein and
Friesian blood to
breed an easy to
manage herd of cows
MIXED BLOOD AT
BRINKWORTH
Outcrossing Holsteins with Friesians and vice versa
This is a very solid base for a
is a topic very much discussed at the moment. Alison very low input system. The
Maddrell went to visit Rosemary (Ro) and Joe Collingborn
Collingborn’s believe in enjoying
their life rather than dedicating
in Wiltshire to see how a long standing system of this
it entirely to milking cows so
method of balanced breeding works for them
the cows are very much bred for
their ability to produce milk from
J
oe Collingborn’s grandfather arrived at Hill End Farm near Chippenham, Wiltshire in
forage with as little intervention
1910. Milk production in the area was then dominated by Shorthorns however Mr
as possible. Grazing is a paddock
Collingborn Snr was determined to take advantage of the ‘new’ black and white cows and
based system for as much of the
set about establishing the Brinkworth herd of pedigree Friesians. When TT testing arrived
year as possible with only grass
in the fi fties, Joe’s father set about revamping the herd and 24 pedigree females and a bull
silage and brewers grains fed in
were purchased from Scotland in 1953. Since then, the herd has remained closed which
the winter with some cake fed
has protected the good herd health status. Brinkworth cows are leptospirosis free, tested
in the parlour. Joe’s philosophy is
free of EBL and IBR and do not suffer from digital dermatitis, a rare instance these days.
that cows ‘must be full of forage
The breeding policy at Brinkworth focuses on achieving a robust, long lived herd of
so that every nut of cake produces
quiet cattle with low cell counts, reasonable milk yields, good milk quality and solid
a drop of milk’ and to this end, the
conformation. Sire selection falls to Ro and she considers pedigrees very carefully before
Brinkworth herd topped the WMF
deciding on the bloodlines to introduce with a particular consideration of the maternal
South West league for milk from
line. Joe milks the resulting cows and credits Ro with achieving the herd they have today
forage. The current herd average
which is dominated by powerful older cows; a third of the herd is in its fi fth or more
stands at 7000kgs from 1.3 tonnes
lactation. Joe adds that the 20 or so heifers they have calved in over the last 12 months are
of concentrate.
the best young cows they have bred to date. Classifi cation scores refl ect the consistency
Awards have also been won for
of the herd, currently standing at 4EX, 38VG, 37GP and 5G from 94 cows with nine not
milk quality where cell counts
classifi ed.
are consistently below 100 and a
bactoscan in the mid-teens. Straw
bedded cubicles are kept spotless
32 THE JOURNAL OCTOBER 2009
e5-09 Brinkworth 2.indd 2 23/09/2009 09:14:18
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