Well known Donegal Holstein breeder and judge, Trevor Lochart, is wishing that every year was like 2018. Located in Ramelton in the extreme North of the Donegal, Trevor says that 2018 has been one of the best years ever for growing grass for him with adequate rain coming when it was needed. Most years in this part of Donegal bring too much rain, 2017 summer only had 3 days in 3 months that did not rain.
Good grass is very important to the 160 cow Balleyelly herd which has now surpassed 9,000 litres avg milk production but good housing is also important as winters are often long in this part of the world. Like all livestock breeders, Trevor is not afraid to look “outside the box” in his search for the best genetics or other innovations to progress his dairy enterprise.
In 2017, Trevor installed 46 Bioret Aquastar water mattress, he was the first person in the Republic to install the Aquastar. Trevor installed the Aquastar mattresses into an existing cubicle shed of 130 cubicles. The shed had 40 Pasture mats and 90 EVA mats. Trevor says the EVA mat had been a comfortable mat that owed him nothing, but they were showing the signs of wear, so he decided to replace half of them. He also installed Teemore Engineering Super Loop Cubicles with Zig-Zag Head Rail
The Aquastar mattress are located at the end of shed furthest away from the feed passageway but Trevor is in no doubt that the cows know the difference. Trevor says the Aquastar mattress will always be the first occupied. Trevor is very pleased with his investment, but it has caused him a dilemma as cows are literally queuing up to lie on the Aquastar.
Fortunately for the Ballyelly cows, Teemore Engineering have plenty in stock and 44 more Aquastar are on the way to Ramelton next week. Trevor says that he will, over time, change all mats to Aquastar.