PR – An Economic Evaluation Of Four Finishing Strategies For Cull Dairy Cows

An experiment was conducted to economically evaluate four finishing strategies for cull dairy cows based on grass silage and concentrate. Sixty-eight multiparous Holstein-Friesian cull spring calving dairy cows were randomised and assigned to a four treatment (n= 17) finishing experiment. The four treatments were: ad-lib grass silage (GS); GS + 3 kg concentrate (GS+3C); GS + 6 kg concentrate (GS+6C); GS + 9 kg concentrate (GS+9C). Finishing targets were set to ensure cows reached the carcass classification required by the abattoir. These were: cold carcass weight > 272 kgs, fat score 3 or 4L and carcass classification P+ or O. The economics of the study were modelled for two scenarios: (A) 3 purchase price variations with 3 housing costs (B) Selling price sensitivity with fixed purchase price and housing cost. At low housing costs the slower finishing systems are most profitable, while with high housing costs faster finishing systems should be adopted. Farm circumstances will dictate the best suited feeding system for this enterprise.

Author: Minchin~ W.(1&2) + O’Donovan~ M.(1) + Kenny~ D.(2) + Buckley~ F.(1) + Shalloo~ L.(1)

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Author(s): Buckley, F., Kenny, D., Minchin, W., O'Donovan, M., Shalloo, L.


Organizations(s): Dairy Production Research Centre, Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, School of Agriculture, Food science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin