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The design and layout of the dairy farm are crucial to overall herd performance as it can allow greater profitability. Critical components of efficiently manage farm are:

Grazing Infrastructure

The design and layout of grazing infrastructure is crucial to overall herd performance as it can allow more days at grass and hence greater profitability. One extra day at grass is worth €270/day/100cows in spring. In autumn one extra day is worth €150/day/100 cows.
The Teagasc Dairy Manual has more information about the topic of GrazingInfrastructure  (PDF Format), (656KB) in Chapter 21.

Water systems

On average day, a 150 cow herd could drink up to 10,000 litres (65 litres per cow). The water system must be sufficient to deliver this quantity of water to the paddocks. There should be a reserve in the paddocks, normally nine litres per cow (two gallons).


What drinking infrastructure do I need?

The Teagasc Dairy Manual offers more detailed information about the topic of GrazingInfrastructure  (PDF Format), (656KB) on page 120.


Cows will make up to 600 return journeys from paddocks to the milking parlour each year. Road layout must allow for good cow flow and have a suitable surface for walking speed and hoofs welfare. Road layout must allow for access to all paddocks.

The Teagasc Dairy Manual have more information about GrazingInfrastructure (PDF Format),  ( 656KB) on pages 118-121 of Chapter 21.


Milk Facilities

Building a new milking parlour is a costly investment with a planned useful lifespan of up to 40 years, or more. Modern milking parlours are complex and labour intensive to construct. Good liaison and co-operation is vital between the farmer and all the various contractors, suppliers and traders involved.

The Teagasc Dairy Manual chapter 22 has further details about the topic of MilkingFacilities (PDF Format), (665KB).

Winter Accommodation

Choice of winter facilities is a key, particularly for expanders or new entrants to dairying.


How much should winter accommodation cost?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of each system?

How can I ensure animals have adequate feed space?

What slurry facilities do I need?

Tthe Teagasc Dairy Manual presents more detailed data about WinterFacilities (PDF Format), (792KB) in Chapter 20.