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occasions when the weather is too hot they are housed during the day and turned out at night. “We run a cow friendly system, which is not only critical for marketing, but also helps keep costs down. Cows are also fed a semi TMR base ration for 35 litres with 0.5kg of concentrate topped up in the parlour for every additional litre above 35 litres up to a maximum of 3kg per milking."


And when it comes to breeding decisions Rhys takes care of things, focussing on high type and high PLI. “I use Animal Search on Holstein UK’s website to research the maternal lineage, classification and production on bulls. “I like to look deeper in to a pedigree than bull brochures offer. I also use Web Mate to match bulls I pick to the cows they’re most suited to. We do classify cows, mainly for our enjoyment at seeing the progression to a VG cow, we rarely have a third calver that hasn’t reached VG. At the end of the day, both Dad and I like to look at good cows.”


Rhys’ father John is part of the team at Tanglwyst.


For the past five years sexed semen has been used across the board, with Rhys’ wife Emma doing all the AI work around her full time job as an AI technician. Current service sires include Lissue Star, Freddie, Galaxy, and Zeba. Tanglwyst Iolo, an Excellent scored home bred stock bull is used on problem cows that reach 200 days in milk and aren’t in-calf. He is a Smiddiehill Saratoga son out of an EX90 Etazon Perot daughter that produced 100 tonnes. For the past 10 years a stock bull has been used for sweeping up and John says the daughters are milking well in the herd. Calves are reared in hutches and fed twice a day on whey protein powder, they are then weaned in to igloos and fed ad- lib coarse mix and barley straw until 11 months.


A stainless steel feed pad was fitted to make a more enjoyable surface for the milking herd to eat from.


“The bulling heifer group are housed all year round and fed clamp silage and 1kg of parlour cake a day, with heifers averaging 23 months at calving. “Dry cows are fed a high fibre mix of grass silage and barley straw with 2kg of a transition nut and cows are grazed on a leader-follower system with dry cows and in-calf heifers following the milking group. And, adding to the diversified income on the farm Rhys’ mum, Liz, runs four holiday cottages in barn conversions and income is also generated from a small DIY livery yard, solar panels on the cow barn, a bio-mass boiler and a mobile phone mast. “We feel that we’ve built the business up to be sustainable for the future and are always looking at ways to improve and be more efficient,” adds Rhys.


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