Richard Pilkington of Shordley Hall Farm, Wrexham has a 250-head herd of Holsteins and made the decision to invest in lighting and ventilation products from Wynnstay for his buildings in June 2014 and has seen great results.
Mr Pilkington states;
"I made the decision to invest in fans to improve the cows environment especially ventilation, our buildings are typical of those found in the UK and do not lend themselves very well to promoting natural ventilation."
Mr Pilkington was particularly concerned with the effect of poor ventilation on lying times, milk production and fertility during the warmer times of the year. In winter the moisture levels in the buildings and on the beds was worrying because of its impact on respiratory and udder health in the cows.
Mr Pilkington invested in 4 intake fans, 5 cyclone fans and 2 blast fans along with 55 enviralights for his building, with the ventilation and lighting plan being formulated by Huw McConochie as part of Wynnstay's building advisory service. The results of the fans and lighting installation have been clearly visible to Mr Pilkington.
"The beds have been drier and the cows have been lying down for longer; they are also now occupying the areas of the building that used to be dark prior to the installation of long day lighting. I have also seen a significant drop in cell count which I believe can be partly attributed to the drier environment."
The cell count for the Aintree herd is currently running at around 80,000 which is more than acceptable.
"We switched to twice a day milking from three times a day shortly after the lighting was introduced therefore it has been difficult to measure the exact results, but during the time we were milking three times a day milk yield per cow was up to 2.5 Litres, compared to the same time the previous year."
"Historically we suffered from a drop in pregnancy rate during hot spells of weather but this year following the installation of the ventilation and cooling equipment we managed to prevent the usual fall." said Mr Pilkington.
With every pregnancy rate point being worth up to £24 per cow the argument for improving cooling and ventilation even under the UK variable weather conditions is not a difficult one.