FAMILY AND / OR BUSINESS NAME
The Hunter Family.
Robert and Lorraine with their children Karen, Alison and Mark farm approximately 300 acres at West Tarbrax Farm, Shotts in the central belt in Lanarkshire situated halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. We breed pedigree Jerseys and have shown a few over the years with some success. The girls have now moved to pastures new but are keeping up their farming interests with their own herd prefixes, Mourneview and Arranviews. Mark’s passion is machinery so all the field work is done by ourselves. We host school visits through RHET (Royal Highland Education Trust) and are always pleased to have visitors to view the herd when the circumstances allow.
130 pedigree jerseys twice daily through a 20×20 herringbone parlour and breed all our own replacements. We breed 80% to sexed jersey semen with the bottom 20% bred to British Blue. We also run a homebred bull with some heifers in the summer months. The cows and young stock are grazed in the summer and cubicle housed in the winter, fed baled silage and a high energy blend. The herd average is currently 6800kg of milk at 5.93% Butterfat and 4.01% Protein.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD PEDIGREE JERSEYS?
We bought our first Jerseys in 1999 and ran them with our pedigree Letterkenny Holstein herd, but have been 100% jersey since 2017.
SUPPLIES / PRODUCES
We supply our Jersey milk to Grahams the Family Dairy based in Stirlingshire.
WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR CHOOSING TO MILK PEDIGREE JERSEY CATTLE?
Our main reason was a business decision; we were offered a jersey milk contract. We were at the point of having to invest heavily in the infrastructure of the farm and the Jersey cow suited our system.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE JERSEY BREED AND IN PARTICULAR YOUR HERD?
To compare them to Holsteins, Jerseys are more herd cows, that is, one out all out. They possess a unique ability to open gates and disappear. They are strong willed and have far ranging personalities.