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VikingJersey unlocks farms' true potential in New Zealand

Alongside the high production comes exceptional health traits.

Paul and Annie Henshaw farm in a small rural area called Ikawai in South Canterbury, New Zealand. Milking 490 VikingJersey cows on 150 Hectares of rolling hills. The farm is irrigated using k-line irrigation lines that are shifted daily.

The farm when Henshaws first arrived was a run-down runoff that they planned to convert to dairy. With new central lanes, a new rotary dairy shed (space-saving), highly efficient VikingJersey cattle, some alternative pasture types and the strategic planting of shelterbelts, Henshaws have created an efficient dairy system designed for an owner-operator and worker.

Henshaw VikingJersey New Zealand

Creating a herd that is easy to manage

Investing in sound infrastructure has been labour saving and critical to the long-term success of the farm. Paul and Annies herds' genetics have been approached with the same mentality.

Henshaws knew their herds' genetics would play an important role in creating a herd that is easy to manage, able to handle their landscapes and produce large volumes of milk solids.

For the Henshaws it has always been Jersey, the natural characteristics of Jersey cattle mean they are a bit lighter on their feet and not so heavy on the ground making them a little more agile in the hills and more suited to their farm.

Genetics is a long-term game and having the right people helping select the right sires has been influential in getting the traits he wanted to see in his herd.

The fundamental traits Henshaws are looking for in Jersey cows are good stature, capacity, and udders.

Having mated with only VikingJersey sires for the last three years now, Paul says the VikingJersey deliver all three of those easily.

With their first milkers in the shed now, Henshaws say the VikingJerseys bring all the traits they are looking for as well as having high production.

Henshaw VikingJersey New Zealand

The perfect example of a Jersey cow

“I had a cow named Gaga and I always used to say if I had 500 cows like Gaga that would be the perfect herd. She did over 500 solids a year, had a heifer calf every year, nice and friendly. The perfect example of a Jersey cow.” says Paul.

“The VikingJersey is very good, I am happy with their production and the traits that they bring," says Paul.

Alongside the high production comes exceptional health traits. Part of investing in the farming system was the desire to have a low maintenance healthy productive herd.

This relieves the pressure off staff and farmers managing the cattle keeping the herd happy and productive, reducing antibiotic use and costly vet bills.

Henshaws explain they do not really have vet bills and have not received a grade on their milk in over three years, so as far as the health goes the herd is exceptional.

“With cows like the VikingJerseys, it makes life easygoing. We are into looking after the land and making it better for the next generation. It is what our parents did and what we hope to do as well.” Paul ends.

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Henshaw VikingJersey New Zealand

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