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Summer camps for keeping cows in winter - advantages and disadvantages

Oleksandr Nazarko
Global Agro Finance

Many farmers keep animals in summer camps, and many do so in winter. Exercise for cows. Fresh air. Reduced care costs? Is it really that simple?

Year-round effective animal keeping in pens without a concrete surface is only possible with rainfall levels <200 mm/year. Otherwise, the animals will simply drown in mud baths!

If your region receives >200 mm/year of precipitation amount, you are simply obliged to concrete the surface of the pens, otherwise you will face the following problems:

  • To provide more or less normal conditions, you will have to clean the pens very often. And this is no longer a scraper and a person, but a manitou and a truck. Considering the fact that fuel prices have doubled in two years this is very expensive.
  • On the site of the removed soil (yes, you will be removing not only manure from the pens, but also soil) - you need to constantly add a lot of soil in its place, which is not easy to obtain. And it becomes increasingly difficult every year (due to environmental restrictions). And again, logistics - you have to load, transport, and level the soil if you get it somewhere.
  • You should have extra pens to move animals that will be incredibly stressed and lose efficiency during cleaning.
  • Straw is the second gold on the farm after manure! And you will just need a lot of this gold, namely approximately 7-10 kg per 1 forage cow per day, depending on the number of animals on the street and how clean it is there.
  • Increased incidence of hoof diseases and udder diseases, which will cost you additional money and productivity loss.

Recently, I observed a case of improperly planned pens at a dairy farm. Although they were cemented and covered, animal placement standards were not taken into account. The rest area was physically made very small. Therefore, all animals could not lie down at the same time, and the area was very dirty. The feed-manure passage was cleaned once every 2 weeks, which caused problems with the animals’ hooves.

So, if you want to build pens properly and not lose money in the future from rebuilding existing facilities, contact us at Global Agro Finance, +38 066 611 7948, global.agrofinance@gmail.com.

More about technologies and dairy farm managment - The Advisory Center of AMP