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Dairylands Profile
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EX93
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Well my expectations for oopfs are:

1. Feed more meal to high yielding cows. Hopefully then they will not milk off their backs as severly and come into season earlier.
Could I get a 2 litre response for each extra kg of meal?

2. Milk components especially milk protein.
I reckon if a cow is giving 40 litres plus on grass silage and 10kg of meal I can hardly
expect her to be putting up a good milk protein test. The experts say the more stable
rumen ph also helps components. Could I be
looking at an extra 0.1 % butterfat and 0.1% protein?
That's worth [sign in to see URL] / litre to me.

3. Less bullying in parlour. I calve all year
round and some cows may be getting 1 kg others 5kg. Some of the more aggressive stale cows decide to balance things up a little. This causes mayhem.

4. Less digestive stress on cows, higher forage intakes, better maintenance of condition?

What do you reckon realistic expectations?
14/7/2006, 20:04 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Our cows are definitely quieter in the parlour for not being fed there, and there is far less dust and no incentive for vermin.
14/7/2006, 20:43 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


quote:

dairylands wrote:

Well my expectations for oopfs are:

1. Feed more meal to high yielding cows. Hopefully then they will not milk off their backs as severly and come into season earlier.
Could I get a 2 litre response for each extra kg of meal?

2. Milk components especially milk protein.
I reckon if a cow is giving 40 litres plus on grass silage and 10kg of meal I can hardly
expect her to be putting up a good milk protein test. The experts say the more stable
rumen ph also helps components. Could I be
looking at an extra 0.1 % butterfat and 0.1% protein?
That's worth [sign in to see URL] / litre to me.

3. Less bullying in parlour. I calve all year
round and some cows may be getting 1 kg others 5kg. Some of the more aggressive stale cows decide to balance things up a little. This causes mayhem.

4. Less digestive stress on cows, higher forage intakes, better maintenance of condition?

What do you reckon realistic expectations?



We currenly have point 3 happening in our cowshed.
And my husband does indiviually feed to some magic criteria in his head meaning all cows are not equal making (in my opinion)it difficult to judge whether cow A is better than cow B
Now Ive been thinking about this for a while and looking and listening and I have discovered that ....
those herds that feed everycow the same amount every day of the year have an actual higher herd average and a closer pattern ie. not as big a difference between best and worst.
And those who indiviually feed have higher individual averages but a lower herd average.
We also seem to have this wretched caper where cows stay in the dairy herd while dry to get grain to put more condition on all of which couldve been done while she was milking if she hadnt had her grain cut back.
I personally have found 5 - 6 kg grain /head /day every day of the year gets a good economical response and lets her dry off in ggod shape.(of course milk price does drive everything and when milk is worth more more grain could be feed)
14/7/2006, 21:50 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Dairylands,
to me it seem like you'd be more likely to achieve most of what you're looking for with a TMR.
we've been using OOPFs for 16 years and I must say I'd shift to TMR in a heart beat if I where to continue farming.
If the cows reckon the silage is tastier than whatever they get in the OOPFs they fill up at the bunk and wont eat the full ration of concentrates and vice versa.
on top of that, for a multitude of reasons the cows might not be fed what you expect at the OOPFs.
with a automated TMR system, where the mixer wagon will fill it self, the cows are fed the same ration every day and you only have to take a quick look at the bunk before leaving the barn in the evening, to know if there's enough food to last them 'til morning.

Last edited by broa, 15/7/2006, 15:15


---
"Dum spiro, spero"

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15/7/2006, 0:14 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


The amount of capital needed for an oopf system makes it a much better bet for the smaller farm. How many smaller dairies have the spare machinery or labour for a TMR system?

Peovereye's comment on a farm limit for overall production seems to apply here. There does seem to be a top limit here that is very difficult to get past profitably, and that limit seems to be set by the dynamics of how much space the cows have to move around each other in the yard.

Fresh calvers can be up to 15kg concentrate depending on yield at any time of year, and we use the buffer fed silage to bring them back close to the yard area to encourage them to use the feeders
15/7/2006, 8:42 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


in Denmark the small dairy farms share the expenses of the TMR equipment.
there's also the possibility of someone making it a business of mixing TMRs for the dairies in the area. using a lorry/truck you can cover a rather large area.

---
"Dum spiro, spero"

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15/7/2006, 12:11 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


I was just thinking about wagon when I read down to Broa's post.

I have done both. We put in new milking equipment a few years ago, and OOPFs were in the deal. We were coming from feeding all concentrates in parlour, two big loads per day 10-12 kgs. Then, a while later, we had wet acidic silage that was hard to get intakes with, and we came across a local, very cheap old mixer wagon. From that point on I increased the meal in the wagon step by step as I grew more comfortable with the idea.

I found that OOPFs did not help BF. The reverse, because you are substiting forage DM with meal DM which is low in fibre. As for protein, that isn't going to lift much either, you are more likely to get more milk instead. I didn't like it. You really need to keep the meal protein down bigtime to give the top cows a chance of not killing themselves i.e. mainly cereal which needs buffers and yeast etc to help keep things cool.

I know the English guys will say that milk Q is fine with them. But they can make good, dry grass silage year on year which makes all the difference. If you make wet silage (which is quite likely here) then your cows are going to stand all day at the OOPFs and just nibble at the silage - a potential disaster. Also, we still milk in the old parlour, and we abandoned the in-parlour feeders last year due to age. Its a nightmare getting cows in now.

A wagon does something a wee bit different. It increases forage intake. Which can improve BF and lower ration cost. Gut-fill is better, so rumen function is better. I only realised that I had never seen a cow really full when we bought a wagon. Now you can hardly get them up out of the cubicle.

But I know that they take up time, which you may not have. Thats a big problem. over the last while I have been creeping the OOPF down and the wagon up, and just recently I stopped the oopf altogether. I'm going to move them for the winter for heifer training. Wouldn't go back from the wagon now.


15/7/2006, 12:22 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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EX93
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


I do not disagree with much that has been said about TMR.

If I had a large herd, other labour input and any intention of growing wholecrop or maize of course TMR would be worth considering.

Last winter I had 36 cubicles (46 cows) and one outside feeding pen measuring 20 foot square. There was a ring feeder in that. There was also an adjoining silo which they self fed.

The question was how to move forward (ie more cows less work) without massive capital investment.

The silo has been converted into cubicles and a feeding passage. The feeding passage is a "cow-pow" which moves forward gradually on wheels 3 foot as the cows eat the feed.

All silage is now round baled. In the winter I plan to fill the feeding passage with bales about twice a week. There should be very little work beyond that.

Last winter I was filling that ring feeder up to 3 times a day. It was very tying. I wanted to get away from an everyday chore. As a one man operator filling every day with must do chores isn't great for quality of life.

I do not agree with Foxleigh about batch feeding, but then I am feeding a dairy
compound rather than grain. At the moment my
cows are on very good grass. Yet there are cows who when given extra meal give extra milk, 1kg meal = 2 litres milk. So I have some cows whom I give 10kg of meal a day. Likewise I have stale cows who don't
respond as well. They get less, maybe just
2kg to settle them. There is no way giving
everyone 6kg would put the bulk tank up!.

I constantly try cows with an extra 1kg to see if I get an economic response.

I have tried to condition stale cows with extra compound. In my experience it makes no difference. Mostly you get a little more milk, but they must just substitute the meal for grass for they look no fatter!
In fact I think they get fatter quicker with less meal which is probably to do with protein balance in the overall diet.

Cows seem to get fat here if they waste 3 months holding to service. So I seem to get a good calving interval from individual cows every other year.

Winter before last I brought some big yielders into the parlour for a midday feed.
Comparing their performance year on year the midday feed seemed to keep condition better, get in calf quicker, better components but similar yield. I thought oopfs were just a way of doing this without extra work for me.

FOAF, I thought you could restrict meal on a oopf? Why would they eat no silage and stand at an oopf all day for the sake of even an extra 5kg of meal a day? Do they stand hoping for leftovers?
15/7/2006, 14:01 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


Yes.

At school, the queue for the tuck shop tails back down the corridor, and round the corner past the history rooms.

The salad bar has one little boy with round glasses contemplating a lettuce and tomato sandwich.





Last edited by FiringOnAllFour, 15/7/2006, 16:25
15/7/2006, 16:25 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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EX93
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Re: OOPFs Worthwhile Investment?


I agree with FOAF, OOPF are always going to be second best to TMR for several reasons! But if you ever get a chance a a cheap diet feeder that can be seen working don't refuse it!

OOPF would be better than nothing!!!! BUT be warned, thay are not the answer!!

MY Dad was at Hillsborough a few weeks ago, they recommended NOT using OOPF for a couple of weeks after calving!! They had started cows on OOPF immadiately after calving and were building them up but they found that these fresly calved cows went to the OOPF and eat all their nuts but only nibbled on some silage and all of a sudden these cows were taking DA's.

15/7/2006, 16:41 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 


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