Our next ‘Around the World of Dairy’ tour takes place at Gaec De La Ville Gourio, a family owned and operated Dairy farm from Brittany, France.
1. What region, country is your farm from?
Our farm is located in Brittany, France. It is the known for being the most Dairy area in France and one of the biggest in Europe.
2. Who are the owners of the farm and how long has the farm been operating?
Our Farm, Gaec De La Ville Gourio, is family owned and operated. The farm and herd was built entirely by ourselves. We began Milk production in 2003. Prior to running our Dairy operation we were involved with raising Blonde D’Aquitaine and veal of butchery.
3. What is your Farm Size (crops grown) any other enterprises?
Our farm consists of 120ha. Our main production is grass, corn and wheat. We also produce vegetables, peas and beans.
4. What size and breed is your herd?
We own One hundred Dairy Cows. We currently have approximately 70 heifers on the farm. This is to help ensure renewal of our herd. Our herd consists of Holstein and Red Holstein.
5. How many Employees work on your farm?
Our farm is a family run operation. Ronan Jacques works with the Crop production. Marie-Thérèse and Marie-Amelie Jacques handle the Breeding program on the farm.
6. What is your Average annual milk yield/cow?
On average our herd produces around 9500 to 10000 kilos of Milk, 4.8%BF and 3.8%P.
7. What is the Diet for your milking cows & Young stock?
Throughout the year the Cow ration includes corn silage, rapeseed meals, corn grains, grass silage, oat straw and minerals. They are on pasture from March till September. Our young stock is mainly fed a Dry ration with a livestock feed that contains 20% proteins made of alfalfa and wheat. The feed fed to the herd contains no GMO.
8. What is your Milk price per litre?
Last month the prices of milk was around 310€ per ton. The whole milk is collected by a milk truck and convoyed to the processing plant every two days.
9. What is your farms Breeding objectives & considerations?
We want our herd to age well and to keep their Dairy stature. For the past Four years we have focused on feet and legs as well as udders. Today, our young heifers are calving around 22-23 months. They are easily managing TB85 on their classification points. They are classified twice a year by Prim’Holstein France.
10. What Sires are currently being used on your farm?
We are currently using Fitz, ABS Silver, Endure, Incredible Red, Applicable, Dalliance, Luchini and Leader (sexed on cows and heifers).
11. What temperature extremes do you need to deal with and manage?
We are very fortunate to have oceanic climate ranges in our area. In winter we are rarely under -5°C and in summer we are rarely over 30°C. However, our calves are provided with heat lamps when temperatures drop.
12. What Type of Cow housing is provided to your herd?
Our Cow herd is stalled on sand all year around. As well our stable is always open to them. In spring and summer days they prefer being outside on the big green areas. During this time they stay out night and day.
13. What Type of parlour system is used on your farm?
Our Milking takes place in a milking parlour that consists of 2×10 stations. We milk twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The milking is completed by Marie-Amelie, Marie-Thérèse and their dog Bill.