Building up their shorthorn herd

DIANE BISHOP
Last updated 10:57 18/03/2014
Southland Times photo
DIANE BISHOP/Fairfax NZ
Logan Kelly is passionate about shorthorns.

Relevant offers

In the South

Central Otago vineyard owner "nose" building was meant to be Central Lakes Trust community support threatened if proposed electricity reforms go ahead Commonwealth Games beckons for Cromwell-based squash referee Past and present brought together at 60th Alexandra Blossom Festival Fireworks and fairground rides start the Alexandra Blossom Festival party Government "pulling plug" on small power stations with proposed electricity reforms Central Lakes Trust's proposed changes "undemocratic" claims former chairman Senior Queen crowning kicks off 60th Alexandra Blossom Festival Otago Regional Council election 'disappearing off the radar' Teviot tartan tales from 100 years ago

Milking shorthorns is "something a little bit different".

And that's why Logan Kelly likes the unconventional dairy breed - he's not one to follow the herd.

He's always been interested in shorthorns.

As a young boy he always took a shorthorn calf to calf club days, and even now, he likes to show the breed off at every opportunity.

He will get that chance when his herd is visited as part of the New Zealand Milking Shorthorn Association's annual conference in Southland later this month.

The Kellys are 50 per cent equity managers in a 330-cow 140 hectare dairy farm at Mataura Island.

Their herd comprises 150 shorthorn cows while the balance are friesian and they will produce about 130,000 kilograms of milk solids this season. In two years they have more than doubled production from 60,000kgMS.

Logan grew up on a Kaitangata dairy farm.

His parents Steven and Sandra Kelly bought their first shorthorn cows in 1987 and Logan soon took an interest in the breed.

"I was given 10 shorthorn calves a year to build up my own herd," Logan said.

Logan worked as a herd manager on his parents dairy farm for 10 years before taking on a role as 50 per cent sharemilker for three years.

The Kellys like the shorthorn because of its hardiness, longevity and ease of calving and they claim their top cows produce up to 600 kilograms of milk solids a season.

"And they're something a bit different," Logan said.

The shorthorn comes in three colours - red, white and roan, but when crossed with the friesian produce a blue calf.

Logan believes promotion is the key to getting the breed recognised and he regularly takes their shorthorns to the Gore, Wyndham and Balclutha A&P Shows.

"We like to make an effort to get our breed out there and show people what we've got," he said.

Their five-year-old cow Burness Empire Phil was named top milking shorthorn at the South Island Milking Shorthorn Championships in Gore last month.

"She's got a really good udder and she's a good type of dairy cow.

"I've got people telling me she's the best looking shorthorn they've seen in 50 years," Logan said.

With the limited shorthorn gene pool in New Zealand, the Kellys are turning to the Australian shorthorn cow, known as the Aussie Red, for a more "blended" cow.

"We are keeping the good shorthorn characteristics.

"We've made huge gains in the last 10 to 15 years on type and confirmation," Logan said.

The Kellys are in the process of building up their shorthorn herd as they are converting a 350ha neighbouring farm to dairy and will milk 900 cows next season.

They aim to boost their shorthorn herd to 350 cows - about a third of their total cow numbers - but would eventually like to increase this to 60 per cent.

However, they won't get rid of their friesians.

"We need the other breed to benchmark the shorthorns against," Logan said.

 

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content