Watch the video to learn how the Archer family focuses on bull selection to ensure they breed optimal grazing animals.
In summary, Tim Archer farms a total of 350 acres milking 350 cows with his sister Jess and father John. The trio shares all the jobs across the unit.
Jess is in charge of herd health, bull selection and calf rearing, while father John, partly retired, takes care of office work and procurement. That leaves foot trimming, management of the grassland, nutrition and the out-wintering programme down to Tim.
The family uses LIC bulls to ensure the farm produces good grazing animals with high solids production, good capacity, good fertility and sound feet. Key bulls over the years have been Integrity, Misty and Sierra.
Around 80 of the herd are pure Jersey, 120 Friesians, and the rest crossbreds. In addition, the farm has 75 in-calf heifers and 83 calves. Beef calves are sold off the farm to a grass-fed beef farm shop that raises them for customers.
Grazing efficiency is key to this dairy unit. Their objective is, weather permitting, for the cows to be outdoors for as long as possible. They go out to graze in February and come in late November. This means cows are only housed for December and January.