Hear first hand from Nick, one of Samens most recent customers who moved across to Samen based on the outputs he experienced from 16 Samen Heifers that he purchased last season.
As a long standing client of Samen, Debbie shares her views on why Samen Genetics work for her.
“People can’t believe the size of our heifers coming into the shed”
Harry and Michael are farmers. Great Farmers, Forward thinking Farmers who are always looking for ways to challenge the status quo and find new ways to improve their production and increase their profitability. Since the early days Harry has used Samen semen, but that was always in combination with other Genetics. However, three years ago when the opportunity came up to purchase an additional farm with son Michael, they opted to use Samen. The main reason behind the switch was down to the quality and performance of the Samen heifers compared to the other suppliers and in addition they could utilise the Colour Coding programme across their entire herd.
At the time, one of the motivating factors was a decline in the quality of udders from their genetics provider and with a 54 Bail Rotary and automatic cup removers, slipping cups not only slowed down the milking flow, but it was money down the drain with an increased risk of mastitis. Fast forward three seasons and Harry and Michael can already see big improvements in the udder conformation of the Samen heifers coming through the shed. “We have always been looking for a cow that can hold her own, has a good frame and doesn’t get too sore in the feet from being too big” said Michael. “We are happy with the heifers, they look good, their udder conformation is great and they have a good frame”.
Moving forward Harry and Michael will continue to work with Cees from Samen to manage their herd through the Colour Coding programme. “With the ease of the colour coding system we have been able to even out the herd.If we need to make them stronger, or add more dairy over the rounder cows we can address that across the entire herd, instead of simply picking and choosing for individuals cows” said Michael. “The consistency across the herd is becoming more and more obvious and it starts with our calving, you see it there as well, no huge calves and then little small runty ones, it nice and consistent” When asked about the BW system, Michael simply said “Why would you invest your money in a high BW herd, when the system could change at any moment and your stock value substantially drop overnight. I’d much rather have good cows, with good structure that are producing great results. BW means nothing if udders only last for a year”.
Andrew Meuli of Taranaki has had an interesting journey with Samen to date. In the first instance he conducted on the ground research which involved speaking to a Samen rep, visiting the South Island and meeting with existing farmers using Samen stock. He wanted to see first hand what the calves looked like and how the girls looked in the shed. Afterwards he made the brave decision to jump ship from his mainstream provider and mate his entire herd in the first year.
Whilst the perfect journey might have begun there, it didn’t come without some huge questions. After the first two seasons Andrew became concerned with putting all his eggs in one basket and the following season he opted to return to a mainstream for his genetics… that was until the first round of Samen heifers entered the milking shed.
Andrew reckons “you don’t actually know who the heifers are when they enter the shed without looking at their tags” Their weight through grazing has been outstanding and they’ve come into the herd, looking really nice, as well as being good weighted cows with a good stature that can do everything. They are great looking animals, square rumps and they hang a good udder” The calving pen was all over the show when Andrew was using his previous selective computerised mating programme. “By using the Samen Colour Coding programme the calving pen is an even line, nice and consistent in size” said Andrew. When asked about the colour coding system Andrew was quick to admit that this was one of the draw cards of moving to Samen. “It’s simple and I understand it and my staff understand it too. I didn’t know a lot about breeding, but since I’ve been with Samen I’ve learnt a lot and it’s good to know what genetics I’m using and why”
“Being able to see the stock as the end result has been rewarding and we look forward to stepping it up a notch next season by introducing aAa as well as being able to mate our Samen heifers with Samen stock again, that’s when we will see even greater gains” To anyone considering giving Samen ago this coming season, the message is clear from Andrew. “Put some straws in and let the straw do the talking”.