Carpenters Farm

Joe Carter
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About Carpenters Farm

  • Strategic Dairy Farm since December 2018
  • AYR calving herd of 290 mostly Holstein cows
  • Recently established a small herd of Brown Swiss cows
  • 280 acres owned and 50 additional acres rented
  • Yielding 10,900 litres/yr/cow – milked 2x per day
  • Supplying milk to Cadburys through Selkley Vale

Follow our journey if you are interested in:

  • Maximising heifer health, welfare and performance – How to optimise the environment and protect pre-weaning calves

  • Breeding for welfare – How to breed productive cows with long lives

  • Maximising udder health through the dry period – Establishing a program of selective dry cow therapy that is manageable and practical

  • Scenario planning for business resilience – What rules should we follow to develop the business while maximising return on investment


Joe Carter farms 300 Holstein cows in partnership with his parents in Chippenham in Wiltshire across 330 acres. The cows are housed all year round in two groups and calved throughout the year, yielding just under 11,000 litres/cow/yr whilst only being milked twice per day. Emphasis is placed on a high welfare cow environment with minimal hard group transitions. Milk is supplied to Cadburys via a Selkley Vale contract. Joe is an active member of Calne Dairy Discussion Group and regularly benchmarks his business.  

Our farm

Based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, the farm consists of 330 acres of grass and maize. Post-weaning heifers being reared away from the farm.

Our herd

The herd is currently made up of 290 AYR calving Holsteins with a small integrated herd of Brown Swiss cows, achieving 10,900 litres of milk per cow per year, milking twice per day. Heifers calve by 24 months old and the average lifetime daily yield of animals leaving the herd is >17 litres indicating that cows are fertile, long-lived, and efficient.

Our journey

Their journey has seen them concentrate on minimising health issues in the pre-weaned calves by optimising the calf environment and managing colostrum. The welfare of calves, fulfilling calf energy requirements, and managing protocols to dovetail with evolutionary behaviours, have been a strong focus for one particular meeting at Carpenters Farm.   

Creating a breeding plan to allow for a robust and long-lived cow is at the forefront for further developments. In addition, the plan is to adopt a selective dry cow protocol that optimises udder health while fulfilling due diligence and reducing antibiotic usage.

Significant investment has been made in the business so exercises in maximising return on this investment whilst building a more resilient business will be a focus for further meetings at Carpenters Farm.

Our key performance figures

Carpenters Farm openly share their KPIs so you can see how they perform against a number or technical and financial measures.

Past meetings and updates

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Joe Carter

Joe Carter

"It's great to be involved and access feedback from other farmers on issues that they have had experience in resolving through the events we hold on the farm."

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