Louise Tudor

Upper House Farm

Simplicity is the key to Louise Tudor’s beef finishing system, with about 100 Friesian calves a month arriving on-farm in two batches at four months old, which are taken through to finishing.

The family have farmed at Yockleton for 72 years and, having had many different enterprises, have never been afraid to adapt to changing circumstances.

In 1998, Louise, her late husband Jonathan and father-in-law Alan began rearing and finishing British Blue calves. But, in 2016, they took a delivery of Friesian bull calves from Buitelaar as a trial and found after calculating costings between the Friesians and British Blues, the Friesians came out on top, so gradually the British Blues were phased out.

In 2018, in a move to reduce the workload, the decision was taken to finish cattle rather than rear calves. Now there are up to 650 Friesian bulls on-farm at any one time, making Louise, who farms on her own after Alan’s death last year, one of Buitelaar’s biggest finishers. They arrive at an average weight of 145kg and are not weighed until they are 10 months old.

Tweaking changes

At this point, based on a daily liveweight gain of 1.4kg, Louise can calculate when each animal will leave the farm. On average, her cattle reach the target weight of 450kg liveweight between 11-12.5 months old and kill out at 51 per cent, with an average carcase weight of 242kg.

Recently, Louise has decreased her average age to target weight by about a month, meaning she is on track to finish 1,200 cattle in 2021. She puts this down to tweaking the system and improving feeding and management protocols to ensure cattle have access to the total mixed ration on an almost ad-lib basis, making sure they are more content.

Finishing the Friesians at 12 months old, rather than British Blues at 16 months, means she can do 1.6 batches of Friesians to one batch of Blues, which she says really pays off.

Upper House Farm Facts

  • Family farm managed for more than 72 years
  • Beef finishing system
  • 100 Friesian calves arriving in two batches at four months old
  • Constant review of farm management protocols
  • Finishing at 12 months old
  • Supplying Buitelaar