Jennifer MacKenzie is an agricultural photo journalist with almost 30 year's experience. Operating from her base in Cumbria, Jennifer undertakes mainly industry-related freelance writing and photography.
Carhall award winning herd
Cumbrian pedigree Holstein enthusiasts Ian and Mark Mallinson are rapidly
earning a name for their Carhall herd.
Following show successes last year, the father and son have scooped individual titles in Holstein UK’s 2007 All Britain Awards with home-bred mother and daughter Carhall Lyster Elizabeth Ex and Carhall Jordan Elizabeth. It is the first time a dam and daughter have won the All Britain Awards in the same year.
|Ian and Mark Mallinson in in the light and airy cow housing|
The father and son are establishing some top, award winning cow families
in their Carhall herd at Low Northsceugh, Armathwaite, Carlisle but they
stress that the cows must be commercially viable.
“First and foremost is the milk production – that’s what pays the bills. These cows have got to work at home,” says Mark Mallinson.
The family, Ian and his wife Joyce and Mark and his wife Ellen and their two children three year old Luke and baby Lucy, run 120 pedigree Holsteins and 500 breeding ewes on the 250-acre tenanted farm.
After losing the herd in 2001’s foot and mouth epidemic they re-stocked principally with Holsteins with deep pedigrees from David Jones’s Wiltor herd in Monmouthshire.
Now herd numbers have been built back up to 120 milkers and the Mallinsons are concentrating on establishing good cow families for both type and production.
The Elizabeth family is among the herd’s rising stars, carrying off an unprecedented double when at the April 2007 National Holstein Show Carhall Lyster Elizabeth (classified Ex 90) was the grand champion and her daughter Carhall Jordan Elizabeth was the calf champion.
For the most recent success, the All-Britain selection panel comprised the individual judges who officiated at the four major Royal Shows in 2007. The selection panel then reduced the original 100 entries to a final 42 animals, which in turn, received the votes of all 45 members of the society’s national judging panel.
Ian said: “It’s tremendous to have lifted two All-Britain titles in the same year with a mother and daughter combination. It’s especially rewarding to have bred and developed the cow family over the years and we look forward to breeding the next generation.”
The animals were prepared and led at the National Holstein Show by Borderway pedigree dairy auctioneer Glyn Lucas who has prepared and shown animals in Europe, Canada and the US and he rates the family as one of the best he has ever exhibited over the past fifteen years. “Elizabeth is an exceptional animal and truly represents the best in terms of breeding that Britain has to offer,” he said.
Jordan Elizabeth was first in her class and reserve champion at the All Britain Calf Show in October 2006 at eight months old.
|Ellen and Mark Mallinson with, left,
Carhall Lyster Elizabeth and Carhall
The Lyster cow, from a pure British family, was also the overall exhibitor
bred champion as well as winning the junior in-milk champion and best udder
award. She was the junior champion at the National Holstein show in 2005
and second at the All Britain Calf Show.
At the 2007 Royal Show she was reserve breed champion and exhibitor-bred champion.
Not just a show winner, the cow by TCET Lyster and out of Wiltor Coustau Elizabeth, produced 9,500 litres in heir first lactation rising to 13,500 litres in her second on twice a day milking.
She has been flushed twice, producing 21 eggs by Braedale Goldwynd and 19 by Picston Shottle. The first Goldwynd calves were born in early June – producing four heifers and two bulls. She is in calf herself to Roylane Jordan, the sire of Jordan Elizabeth.
The first daughter of Lyster Elizabeth will be entered in the Borderway Black and White Sale on 29th November.
Other successful families include the Gail family from Wiltor Inspiration Gail, an ET daughter of the Canadian Rowsdale Hannah Gail, which Ian Mallinson describes as “excellent breeding and trouble free family”. The current star of the Gails is Carhall Outside Gail Ex 91, which is the eighth generation of excellents.
The Peggy family dominated the top awards in the 2005 Border and Lakeland Calf Show with Carhall Stormatic Peggy taking the championship and Carhall Outside Peggy reserve. A half share was sold in Stormatic Peggy in the Black and White Sale.
Two bull calves have been sold to a Northern Ireland breeder – one from the Laura family by Shottle, aged six months old, and the other from the Gail family by Zenith at five months old.
One of the re-established herd’s early successes in the show ring was at the 2005 Northumberland County when Highwells Jolt Mandy was breed champion and reserve dairy interbreed champion as a fourth calver.
The Mallinsons have been building up herd numbers and are now concentrating on establishing several leading families, eventually having surplus females for sale.
“We are aiming to breed powerful, open-ribbed cows with good feet, legs and udders to give longevity,” said Ian Mallinson.
While the herd currently is relatively young, Carhall Holsteins have a number of milkers in their seventh and eighth lactations.
|Carhall Holsteins are fed on a TMR diet|
The founder of the Peggy family, Emlane Raider Pegasus, died recently at
12 years old having produced nine calves, eight of which were heifers,
and in her highest lactation gave 11,300 litres.
Another 12 year old from the Rosina family, Wiltor Astre Rosina, has also produced nine calves. She has produced up to 12,000 litres with another at 11,500 litres and two at 10,500 litres and is still milking.
The Question family is one of the highest yielding in the herd with Carhall Juror Question producing 14,200 litres in her third lactation, 10,500 litres as a heifer and 11,500 litres in her second.
She is out of Wiltor Carlton Question and her grand dam is AL-PE Blackstar Question which is from the same family as AL-PE Dorina, the Italian national show champion in 2005 and 2006.
A quarter of the herd is crossed with the British Blue with the calves sold at six weeks old through Borderway, Carlisle. The black and white bull calves are sold for export.
The herd’s production average is 10,000 litres at 4.3 per cent butterfat and 3.25 protein from twice a day milking. The herd calves all the year round with milk being sold to Milk Link.
The cows are fed on a full Total Mixed Ration. “It’s the easiest system to control intakes all the year round and to maximise yields. It also keeps the cows in peak condition,” said Mark Mallinson.
“After we have made first cut silage the cows are turned out for exercise for several hours a day but with access to the simple ration which consists of grass silage, a blend made especially for us and molasses,” he added.
The cows are split into four groups - high and low yielders, far-off calvers and close-up calvers. They have been on this complete diet for three years since the in parlour feeders were removed.
Cow comfort is also a priority with housing to the Mallinsons’ own design for maximum air flow through the building.
The building is constructed of a 5ft high wall topped with 5ft of Yorkshire boarding. Roofing sheets are all fitted with a gap between and there is a 2ft ridge opening.
The cubicles are sand with bedding from the calving boxes and topped with lime and sawdust. The only concrete is the heel stones.
All but eight acres of the farm which this year has been sown with wheat are down to grass. The soil is sampled to analyse its nutrient needs and cut down on bought-in fertiliser.
The sheep flock is predominantly Cheviot and Texel cross Herdwick ewes which the Mallinsons favour because of the Herdwick’s strong mothering abilities. There are 120 pure Herdwicks and 40 pure Rough Fells. Lambs are sold store through Carlisle mart.