Chance Hall Farm
About Chance Hall Farm
- Strategic Dairy Farm since February 2018
- AYR calving closed herd of 530 Holstein/Scandinavian Red/Montbeliarde cross bred cows
- Yielding 11,300 litres/yr/cow – milked 3x per day
- 550acre tenanted business run as a Ltd Company
- On site raw milk vending machines
Follow Chance Hall Farm if you are interested in:
• Maximising output of marginal milk whilst maintaining health and fertility – Feed costs, how high is too high
• Maximising welfare of youngstock – Upgrading facilities, refining protocols and using data
• Maximising heifer performance efficiency – Setting targets and weighing heifers, reducing the spread of age at first calving
• Maintaining a productive team – How to recruit, motivate and maintain a team of dairy professionals
Tom and Karen Halton rent 550 acres close to Congleton in Cheshire, milking their 530 all year round calving herd three times a day to deliver an average daily lifetime yield of >17 litres. The Halton's supply County Milk split between three contracts and have a successful on-site raw milk vending machine. They have recently installed a pasteurising and bottling plant so they can supply their product to a local milk round. They take part in a Crewe based study group run by David Hughes, sit on their vet’s Farm Advisory Board and are members of their Healthy Heifer Club.
Based in Congleton, Cheshire, the farm consists of 550 acres (140 of maize) and two main sites, one for the herd and one for the heifer unit.
The herd is currently made up of 530 AYR calving crossbred cows (Holstein, Scandinavian Red, Montbeliarde), achieving 11,300 litres of milk per cow per year, milking three times per day. Heifers calve by 24 months old and the average daily lifetime yield of animals leaving the herd is >17 litres indicating that cows are fertile, long-lived and efficient.
Their journey has seen them concentrate on maximising the output whilst maintaining the health and fertility of the cows. All of this is done while balancing feed cost with marginal milk price. This has involved careful grazing strategies for low yielding cows and multi-cut silage protocols.
Heifer rearing costs are known to be relatively high and whilst pre-weaning heifer performance is exemplary within the industry, room for improvement was identified for post-weaning to calving heifers. Tom and Karen have started to work hard on target-setting and tightening up the age at first calving of their heifers and utilising data to ensure this does not compromise lactation 1 performance.
Staff Management has always been a strong point at Chance Hall Farm. Karen Halton constantly innovates new ways to develop personnel and make sure staff are motivated to perform at their best at all times.
Find out more about our experiences as a strategic dairy farm by listening to Karen on the Strategic Dairy Farm Podcast below...
Our key performance figures
Chance Hall Farm openly share their KPIs so you can see how they perform against a number or technical and financial measures.
- February 2018 - Chance Hall Farm launch - Karen and Tom are joined by over 90 farmers for their launch as a strategic dairy farm
- June 2018 - Reducing feed costs - Karen and Tom host their second meeting at Chance Hall Farm in Cheshire inspired by their work around 'Cow Signals' and their ethos to 'put their cows first' they tackle their feed strategy managing to reduce costs and increase yields.
- October 2018 - Forage efficiency for high yielding cows - event learning not available
- June 2019 - Excellence in youngstock rearing with Jim Reynolds - Professor Jim Reynolds leads a session on excellence in youngstock welfare and explains why it's important to ensure they thrive
- December 2019 - Taking heifer rearing to the next level - Karen Halton of Chance Hall Farm in Cheshire is joined by Hefin Richards of Rumination Consultancy to explore where inefficiencies may hide in your heifer unit.
Karen and Tom Halton
"We owe everything to our beautiful cows. For us health is wealth and it informs everything our close team delivers every minute of every day, year in year out."