Morrinsville dairy farmer Shayne Caird says he never really grew out of Calf Club.
But in addition to a love for showing Holstein Friesian cattle that has never waned, Shayne has also developed a passion for breeding that is becoming apparent as he enters his fourth year 50/50 sharemilking.
Milking 215 cows on 72ha at Morrinsville with partner Scott Duncan, Shayne says around 80% of the Shaydoc Ltd herd is Holstein Friesian, with production averaging 424kgMS/cow.
With a philosophy of concentrating on breeding strong cow families to achieve consistency, Shayne already has several high-achieving cows in his herd, including 2018-born Shaydoc Cinderdoor Daana VG86.
The daughter of KH Cinderdoor, Daana won the title of Maughlin Storm – Two-Year-Old Cow New Zealand Champion in the 2021 HFNZ-Semex NZ Ltd On-Farm Competition and was also the heifer with which Shayne won first equal in the 2021 Broomfield Senior Youth Heifer Competition, scoring 93 overall points.
She also placed first in the Dairy All Breeds Heifer two-year-old in milk at the 2020 Stratford A&P Show, as well as third in the Holstein Friesian two-year-old in milk category.
“Daana did it all last season,” Shayne says.
Shayne also saw success in the 2020 HFNZ De Laval All NZ Photo Competition – All NZ Heifer Calf: Shaydoc Twizzle Tamika placed third and Shaydoc VLY Wylani S2F placed fifth.
Shayne was born and bred in Morrinsville, from a long line of dairy farmers.
His parents’ pedigree Holstein Friesian stud – Dandy View Farm Ltd – was the foundation of his love for the Holstein Friesian breed.
As dairy farmers, Shayne’s family moved around a bit; it was when he met Holstein Friesian champion Sue Pembridge of Uhuru Holsteins that he got “hooked on showing”.
One of Shayne’s Calf Club calves, SRC Dandy-View Magley Daffy, went on to do particularly well.
A descendent of SRA Dandy-View Donna, born in the 1980s, Daffy placed first in the 2001 Youth Paraders Photo Competition and was the winner of numerous junior championships.
She also averaged 500kgMS+ over five lactations.
Shayne attended Lincoln University and studied a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture, and after his study was complete, the call of the farm returned.
“I went to a sale and bought two cows without telling Mum and Dad – until I had to call them to ask for their NAIT number,” he laughs.
“I went on to buy a couple of cows each year, and when I had 15 cows, I went sharemilking.”
Shayne moved back to Morrinsville this season to milk 215 cows. The farm’s pasture-based system is supplemented with maize and pasture silage made on farm, and in-shed meal feeding.
When it comes to breeding, Shayne’s target is taller animals to help offset the shallow milking pits.
“I want a big, capacious-uddered, Canadian-style cow,” Shayne says. “All of the overseas genetics we use are Canadian and US.
“We also aim for corrective mating; we pick bulls that will work well over the herd and will fix any faults that may exist.”
Shayne AB’s for 5.5 weeks, before tailing with DNA-profiled bulls.
Calving starts on July 5 for heifers, and July 12 for cows; Shayne is looking to push calving forward to around July 1 in order to get more days in milk.
He has a 22% replacement rate – which equates to around 50 calves – and the surplus are sold on the local market.
Shayne says he is happy with the way his breeding programme is evolving.
He has bought a few descendants of Stookey Elm Park Blackrose and has ‘dabbled’ in the Tahora and Lesdale cow families.
“We will continue to breed for high type and good, productive cows,” Shayne says. “You need to keep the job enjoyable enough to want to get out of bed in the morning.”
He says after herd testing in May 2021, he couldn’t be happier with how the cows performed this season.
“They have pushed past barriers I didn’t think I would be able to achieve so quickly in herd ownership,” he says.
Penistone Lin Rival EX2 was Shayne’s first 10,000 litre cow, with 666kgMS, and Daana was top two-year-old, producing 7,712L and 600kgMS.
Shayne says his goal is to move to a bigger sharemilking job of around 300 cows, and purchase a house and a block of land.
He has been working hard to progress through the industry quickly, putting in the groundwork now for a successful future.
“The idea is that later on, I will be able to ease up a bit and enjoy what I’ve worked so hard for. I keep it simple but do the basics well.”
“Scott is becoming more involved in the farm now, but to date I have done most of the work myself.
“When I make decisions, I listen and talk to older breeders such as Duncan Pipe who has been an important mentor in my life. They have experience you can’t recreate.”
|Owners||Mary Hastings trading as Hastings Farm Ltd|
|Sharemilkers||Shayne Caird & Scott Duncan trading as Shaydoc Ltd|
|Farm size||72 hectares|
|Cows||215 cows (80% Holstein Friesian)|