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Dairylands Profile
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EX93
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OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


I'm trying to whether to go ahead with out of parlour feeders in the context of the current poor milk prices.

What do you think?

BTW I have no feeder wagon and do not intend to
get one.
12/7/2006, 13:19 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
Big Bird Profile
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Cowtalk Staff
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


We put oopf's in over 15 years ago, one of the best things we ever did. We have no feed wagon, you couldn't even drive into our yard with one.

Is it a worthwhile investment at todays milk price? Is anything?
13/7/2006, 8:44 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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EX93
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Do you use the OOPFs all year round Big Bird , or just in the winter?
13/7/2006, 19:45 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
FiringOnAllFour Profile
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Ex97
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


A very useful tool if you are a heavy meal feeder e.g. more than 8kgs per day. I'm sure you know the jazz about the rumen. Granted, you will be a little while of seeing your 5 to 10 grand (or whatever you are spending) back. You'd need to be intending to push a bit more meal in to make a difference to your farm economics.

On that front, regarding the low milk price; if it helps lower your overall cost of production and/or increase farm profit by increasing performance and/or cheapening meal, then its worth doing regardless of milk price.


PS make sure your feeders can handle a blend, when you are going to the trouble.


Last edited by FiringOnAllFour, 13/7/2006, 20:44
13/7/2006, 20:42 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: …


Dairylands, yes, all year round. We don't feed at all in parlour.

FOAF, when we put them in the cost saving between using a blend rather than a nut payed for the feeders in under 18 months.
13/7/2006, 23:22 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Ex 97 2E
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Re: …



  You putting a blend through them BB .. how do you get minerals into the cows ??


13/7/2006, 23:40 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: …


We don't currently feed blend through them.

When they went in first our herd average was much lower than today. We were feeding a low flat rate in the parlour back then, and topping up with blend outside, and one of the local feed mills was supplying a mineralised blend.

Both the parlour feeders and the bulk bin for them came to the end of their days, and we switched to feeding completely with oopf.

Combined with higher yields and higher feed quantities, this means we struggled for feeding time with blend and went back to feeding nuts.

We do still struggle to get enough time for the cows to eat all their ration when at grass. Once they start queueing at the gates to go out again cows can soon be trapped in the bunch and unable to get to the feeders.
14/7/2006, 8:55 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Ex97
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Don't know if you found this BB, but when cows are hungry on grass or plain silage, and are getting a large proportion of their meal in the OOPF, then you can get quite a bit of rough bullying (have seen one lift a heifer off the ground by putting her head between the back legs). Heifers might suffer. In the settled housing period, provided you have enough feeders, there is less competition.


14/7/2006, 18:19 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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EX95
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OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Hope this makes sense , when i was relief milking i milked all sorts from Blue Albions to extreme Holsteins in every imaginible se up. It was hard not to compare farm to farm but i always did it in strange ways such as cows /man cows/ main tractor litres /man and such things to make a balnced judge of farms without knowing their financial situation . But 1 thing that always struck me was that every set of facilities had a level of litres available and no matter what farmers did they struggled to better it once they had hit capacity more cows equalled less milk per cow often . When we came here we milked 40 cows and never dropped under 30 litres a day we have kept increasing numbers and struggled for yield a cow , we have hit farm capacity with 170 cows the TMR is fed to some down outside barriers so i keep the M+ down so as not to waste straights. So i have looked at some other guys who i used to milk for that were at the extreme feeding just forage in rings 3 have now got OOPF and going great. So to go the enxt stage on some units you have to do something different and to many smaller units i am convinced OOPF is the best route.
With this in mind and the fact that i wont cut numbers in case of the day when the landlord sees sense and helps us to modernise or we find a bigger unit i have gone for OOPF i bougfht them cheap had to send a wad of cash in the post up "Mark Day" country and they were delivered unseen we finally had the tags delivered today and hopefully have the new Davlec electrics fitted next week so roll on 30 litre a day again.
BB what is your meal size in the summer when they at grass ? Do you find they wont stop coming back during the day ?
My plan for the summer is the top 60 % have an allocation the rest will live on M+ maybe 20 in the winter i will give access only to the top 60 cows the other group will be made up of all milking heifers plus lowest cows fed at M+ 20 .i can still feed in the parlour and have 4 stations . What does anyone think ? or is it a suck it and see thing?
14/7/2006, 18:48 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Bullying is definitely an issue, and it does make ours a difficult environment to bring fresh heifers into, and is one of the reasons I don't want huge heifer yields. This last winter, where we've put an extra 20 heifers in to push numbers up has caused problems for some of them.

We do try to run bulling heifers and/or incalf heifers with the dairy at some point. When the dairy are shut into the collecting yard for milking, the non-milking heifers are then allowed to roam the yard and find the feeders for themselves. Still doesn't gaurantee how they'll settle in when calved, but it gives them a better chance.
14/7/2006, 18:53 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 


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