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How many cows/replacements can one person manage?

One person units can manage 100 cows plus followers by using casual labour in spring time. These farms have adequate facilities and use contractors at peak periods.

What is contract heifer rearing?

This is where another farmer takes the heifer calves (usually at about 3 months) and rears them to about 22 months of age. They are then returned to the dairy farmer. The rearer is paid a fee per day for contract rearing.

Can dairy farmers  have a “GOOD LIFESTYLE”?

All jobs have down-sides in them. Dairy farming is no exception. But, it also has a lot going for it now thanks to research and farmer innovative approach. By comparison with other employments, dairy farmers can have very good family lives. Famers can have many more hours per day of contact with their children, being available to take and collect them from school, etc. Dairy farmers can have reasonable working hours - time management helps and they have a little freedom to come and go as the need arises. These may be funerals, emergencies etc. in the neighbourhood.

How can lifestyle be improved?

As milking takes up 30% to 40% of a dairy farmer’s day it is important to apply all research work and knowledge and technology to minimise the length of time spent milking. Calf rearing is very laborious but with an automatic calf feeder, once per day feeding and calves at grass from early March, much of the hardship can be removed. A good, reliable contractor is worth his weight in gold – you don’t have to do everything yourself. Casual labour must be seen as an essential component of dairy farming. Most farmers should budget to spend €6,000- €9,000 on relief milking, calving/ calf rearing, maintenance work, account keeping, general work, etc. Grass based systems are a lot less demanding and a fertile cow to suit the system is a must.

What is once a day (OAD) milking?

This is where the herd is milked once every day rather than twice, a 16:8 hour milking interval daily.

See Pioneering once a day milking  from Today's Farm - July/August 2017