Monthly Archives: April 2015

    7 Things To Consider When Expanding Your Dairy Herd

    Expanding Your Dairy HerdWith milk quota ending on 31st March, most dairy farmers have much to consider going forward. You might be planning on doubling or tripling the size of your dairy herd. You might have expanded already with more expansion planned. You might be considering moving from suckler to dairy. Whatever your circumstances, there are a number of factors to consider when you decide to milk more cows.

    1. Cost of Heifer Rearing

    Are you going to rear your own heifers to go into your milking herd or are you going to purchase maiden or freshly calved heifers?

    If you are planning to rear your own and work towards a closed herd, the cost of rearing them and ensuring that they will be repaying their rearing cost as early as possible is an important consideration.  Only 20% of farms in a UK study from 2013 had heifers paying off their costs by the end of the first lactation. The average break-even point came half way through the second lactation, approximately 530 days after the first calving. We all know which situation we would prefer to be in.

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