Are Your Feeders Accurate?

I have written about this before, but feel it is prudent to once again remind people to calibrate your in and out parlour feeders. With concentrate prices rising this year by £40 per tonne or more, ensuring that the right volume of concentrates fed is even more essential.

Parlour feeders both in and outside will lose their accuracy over time. It is important to calibrate them regularly to ensure the cows are being fed what you think they should be. This is true for both the most complicated of systems and the basic pig feeder system. It is worth adding it is also essential that you check your feeder wagon and/or loader weigh cells regularly for the same reasons.

A feeder that is 10% out could over feed between 5 kgs and 6.5 kgs of feed per day, or 2 tonnes of feed over a year, roughly £500 per feeder. On a parlour with 20 feeders this is £10,000.

If the parlour is under feeding by the same amount this could lead to a loss in milk of 4400 litres per feeder or £1,250 of milk sales per feeder. On a parlour with 20 feeders this equates to £15,000 pa of lost milk sales after savings in feed costs.

Over and under feeding can have knock on effects to animal health and fertility, e.g. over feeding can result in more lame cows or fat cows creating calving difficulties and under feeding can lead to less fertile cows if they are in an energy deficit. This will add additional costs to your business on top of extra feed costs and or lost milk.

It pays to check them regularly!

Contact Phil Cooper to discuss feeding systems, at pcooper@fcgagric.com , or your local FCG Office.

Posted in Business Management, Dairy & Forage, Sherborne.