The Hawkins Family – the CUTSEY Herd

The Hawkins Family

The CUTSEY Herd

The Hawkins family farm near Taunton in Somerset.  The land is lowland with some undulating hills.  The land itself is heavy clay.  Recording and measuring are important tools used to continuously improve productivity and profit.

Edward hawkins with cow

Farm Facts

  • Mixed woodland, arable and grass farm. 200 acres in total
  • Calving 50 cows in the spring

Performance

  • No creep feed
  • Cows average 800kg
  • Birth weights average 43kg
  • Calves average 1.39kg with no creep
  • Weaning weights average 390kg
  • Bulls finished by 430 days and weigh 664kg LW on average and 368kg DW
Cows in field

Management

  • 65 acres of grazing grass is medium to late heading varieties with red and white clover
  • 5 acres of red clover ley producing protein of 20.5% with usually 5 cuts of silage
  • All the grazing ground is split into 1.5 to 2 acre paddocks and the cows are moved every 2-3 days
  • The grass is plate measured every week and this is recorded in Agrinet. The information is used to manage the grazing more efficiently
  • Aim to apply no fertiliser
  • Calve all heifers at 2 years to a Red Angus bull. Heifers are all fertility tested, pelvic measured and weighed prior to selection for bulling.  Heifers must be over 450kg when put to the bull
  • Bulls are selected using EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values)
  • Bulls are homozygous polled and myostatin zero
  • ‘Quiet wean’ flaps are used to wean the calves
  • All bulls kept entire and finished on red clover silage and rolled barley