Meet the Farmer: The Leurs family 

The choice was made for custom measurements fences; matching the sizes of the barn, and the sizes of the Jersey cow.

19 styczeń 2022

Meet the Farmer: The Leurs family 

For the extension of their barn, the choice was made for custom measurements fences; matching the sizes of the barn, and the sizes of the Jersey cow.

The Leurs family company has been a family business for more than 200 years, passed on from generation to generation. After the black and white cows left the company in 1978 due to restructuring, dairy farming was restarted in 1992. This time with Jersey cows, which were brought from Denmark.

At that time the herd consisted of 17 cows. The current barn has 270 cubicles, of which 200 are currently occupied. The barn therefore still offers room for further growth. Generally, Michael Leurs takes into account a replacement rate of about 20%, for which female sexed semen is used. To facilitate growth, more young cattle are currently being kept and the herd consists proportionally of many heifers.

In 2019, renovation and extension of the barn built in 1998 began. This original barn was, especially for the time it was built, already extremely spacious and high, and could therefore easily be extended. The old walls were partly reused, making the barn look like one and the same. However, more ventilation was applied: parts of the side walls and the new back wall were left open. Still to be done is the conversion of the milking parlor: at this moment a 2x10 milking parlor is used. The wish is to expand to 2x15. A waiting room will then also be created for which a number of lying places in the barn will be sacrificed.

In the old part of the barn, Spinder barn equipment was already being used. Michael Leurs did not have to think long about the interior of the extension. " You don't need to change what works well. And besides, we have a good relationship with Spinder dealer Stallfuchs". The layout of the new area is almost the same as the old area; the whole is set up as a 3+3 stall with a central feeding path. Also the used Comfort cubicles are still the same model as in 1998. Although these are too small for today's Holstein cow, they are the perfect size for the Jersey breed. The fact that Jersey cows are clearly smaller is also demonstrated by the cubicle width, which is set at 105cm. A knee rail is used for correct adjustment, at the front of the Meadow cow mattress.

In the older part of the barn, some self-closing feed fronts can still be found. "These still function, but we don't use the locking mechanism of the feed fence much; we just handle our Jersey's in the stall. When inseminating and even when being treated by the veterinarian, the animals actually always just stay there." Diagonal feed fences were chosen for the new areas. These were ordered as custom-made, so they are exactly the right size for the columns used in the barn. Matching the sizes of the barn, and the sizes of the Jersey cow. "Jersey cows are so small and agile that they can easily fit through a small space. With the new custom work, we have a perfect fit to the columns and prevent the ladies from stepping on the feed path."

All labor on the farm is done by father and son Leurs, with two employees and an intern. This includes tilling the 50 hectares of land, and working the milk tap that the family has been operating for 6 years. Jersey cows are known for the high percentages in their milk. Leurs milks about 7,000 liters per cow, with a fat content of 5.9 percent and a protein content of 4.2 percent. Jersey's have an efficient feed conversion and both on the available amount of land, and in the barn, proportionally more animals can be kept. This, in combination with the high milk content, results in an operation that can easily compete with a farm with Holstein cows.

The following Spinder products have been applied: