Quicke’s Traditional LTD are award-winning cheesemakers based in Crediton, Devon, managed by Director and Owner, Mary Quicke, MBE. The cheese is produced from 600 cows that are split into Spring and Autumn grazing Block Calving Herds. The Spring herd averages 5,800 litres at 4.75% Fat and 3.78% Protein. The Spring cows are grazed 365 days a year and only housed when calving. Grazing is based on a paddock system which at its peak is run on a 30-day rotation. Grass management is imperative to ensure the cows are producing as efficiently as possible throughout the year which is subsided with cake and silage. “The herd is currently averaging 1.6kg total milk solids from 2kg cake,” says, Shaun Love, Spring Herd Manager. Protein percentages, and ratio to fat, are essential to produce the best quality cheese and is important to the genetic selection. The aim of the herd is to increase to 360 cows in the next two years and sexed semen has played a huge role in this. Sexed Irish Friesian, Norwegian Red and Jersey have been used. All AI servicing is completed by Genus ABS in a 9-week period. Sexed semen was used on heifers and cows. The spring herd received a sexed conception rate of 65% on heifers and 67% on cows. An 8% empty rate was achieved on cows and 5% empty on heifers. The herd’s Breeding Advisor, Matthew Wheadon comments “The goal was to increase from 301 calving this year, to 331 in 2021. We are currently ahead of our target, with 355 cows due to calve in our Spring herd, which provides extra wiggle room to achieve and exceed our expectations. This has been a standout breeding period, despite the fluctuating availability of the grass due to the weather. This year we calved 89% of the herd within six weeks and 99% by week nine. We achieved a 3-week submission rate of 93% and a 6-week in-calf rate of 86%”.