Karey and John Pulman have a 93ha (85ha eff) dairy farm near Dargaville. Recently they won a 2016 competition run by Dargaville Vets for the best milk quality (lowest SSC) between 1 June and 30 November 2015 with a cell count of 59,000.
This has been their fourth season on this farm, which is in the sand country and initially was largely covered with Kikuyu, so re-grassing is a major task each year.
The herd of around 200 came with the farm, and are a mixture of Friesians, Jerseys and crossbreeds, and the existing SSC counts were at 250,000 at the start. These days, thanks to daily doses of DairyCare Cow and Calf Formula over the last two seasons, it is down to an average of 89,000 for the whole of the 2015/16 season.
Karey advised that she had first become aware of Cow and Calf Formula through seeing an article about it in the local paper and realising that it was her neighbours who were using it successfully. They promptly went and found out more!
In July 2014 they used it with their calves and were amazed at the growth rates and healthy condition of their replacements. In September that year they moved to using it for the herd, feeding it at the shed through a water dispenser, and on the runoff by using 20-litre containers and Peta taps in the troughs there. For the 14/15 season, their milk production increased by a whopping 10% and has continued to rise further.
She commented that the effect of the Formula is so good that when they use relief milkers on the one or two weekends they have off milking each month, they either have to go down to the shed to sort out the dosage, or notice that cell counts rise for a day or two of the next week due to no doses over the weekend.
Not only cell counts, but empty rates have also halved, from about 17% down to 8% this season, and they have had almost no animal health problems.
They usually raise 45-60 calves on whole milk plus Cow and Calf Formula, and this year raised an extra 35 beef calves, to offset the lower milk payout.
DairyCare makes other products which are now part of the Pulman operation. A number of the cows originally showed signs of cowpox, but the Skin Tonic Gel used where needed every milking now sees the whole herd with soft teats and smooth udders. And the Skin Tonic Gel is not only used to quickly heal bumps and scratches on cows but does the same wonderful job on the three Pulman children’s bike accidents and other wounds. They are planning to use the Skin Tonic Spray as a teat spray next season.
DairyCare products have proved winners all round for this family.