Gatelands Farm, near Penrith, is owned and farmed by Andrew and Angela Barraclough and their two children James and Alysha.
It is a 300-acre farm and the business is comprised of 150 milking cows and replacements. In addition to the milk business the family also rears veal calves and fattens cattle for Lake District Farmers, which supplies the best restaurants in London. Most recently its veal has featured in the final of the Great British Menu!
The whole enterprise is family run but Angela is in charge of calf rearing. The calves are fed a kilo of Wynngold Stellar milk powder, a 23% protein 20% oil milk with extremely high vitamin E levels.
For maximum rumen development Angela has opted to feed the calves ‘Start n Wean’, ad lib through to 12 weeks old. Feeding a 6mm nut has improved the calves’ dry feed intakes, with weaned calves eating two kilos per head: “We’ve never had better intakes of starter pellets”, she said.
The palatability of the feed has resulted in improved appetites and has made the transition on to rearer nuts much easier. In addition to improved feed intakes since moving to the feed, which contains NIS (Nutritionally Improved Straw – exclusive to Wynnstay) there’s been an improvement in dung consistency.
First 12 weeks crucial
Heifers reared on the farm are calving down at the optimum age of 24 months, which is a testament to the calf rearing that takes place at Gatelands; after all the first 12 weeks of a calf’s life is the most crucial stage to get right.
Bull calves are kept for veal and go to slaughter at approximately seven months, averaging 150kg dead weight.
As the Wynnstay Dairy Specialist for the Lancashire/Cumbria area, I have been visiting Gatelands Farm for more than 12 months.
If you would like some advice on the correct milk powder to feed and the best compounds for you animals, please contact a member of the Wynnstay team for more information.
Tom Stephenson, Dairy Specialist