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Thread: Out of parlour feeders

  1. #1
    BigW
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    Out of parlour feeders

    I am looking to put in some oopfs to try and reduce feed costs per litre and target cows which need it more. Ideally i would have put feeders in the parlour but i dont want to spend any money on it as it needs replacing if we continue to milk cows. I just wondered what kind of feed savings/lift in milk could be expected to try and justify the spend on them, currently cows split on TMR. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Scholsey
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    What sort of yields are you looking for? I feed just forage in the trough and cake to yield through OOPF, 100 AYR calvers run as one group, some cows giving 15litres/day on 1kg of cake, got one cow giving 63Litres/day on 17kgs of cake!You would probably see more milk and less fat cows than save on concentrate if you already have your TMR well worked out.

  3. #3
    happycows
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Scholsey View Post
    What sort of yields are you looking for? I feed just forage in the trough and cake to yield through OOPF, 100 AYR calvers run as one group, some cows giving 15litres/day on 1kg of cake, got one cow giving 63Litres/day on 17kgs of cake!You would probably see more milk and less fat cows than save on concentrate if you already have your TMR well worked out.
    +1

    reduced my concentrate use by 20% in the winter and 25% in the summer with zerograzing aswell. you still have the option of using a blend saving a bit more over cake. do it you won't regret it!!

  4. #4
    mbsrhol
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    How many kg per litre? Should imagine that with OOPF you could achieve 0.2 - 0.3 kg per litre. This depends upon total yield achieved?

  5. #5
    happycows
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    i think it depend on your goals. 6/7000 litres you would be lower end of you range. 10,000litres and towards the top of your range. the real benifits is the feed goes to the ones that need it like scholsey's 63 litre cow. she deserves it. if the don't need it they go without and challenge them to do it from forage. of course if you have a cull cow or older girl needs a bit extra to fatten up then just set the computer.

  6. #6
    Scholsey
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by happycows View Post
    +1

    you still have the option of using a blend saving a bit more over cake. do it you won't regret it!!
    +1

    last year on million litres sold used 0.31 kg/litre with all concentrate fed through feeders. How do you feed blend accurately in trough without a feeder wagon?

  7. #7
    happycows
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Scholsey View Post
    +1

    last year on million litres sold used 0.31 kg/litre with all concentrate fed through feeders. How do you feed blend accurately in trough without a feeder wagon?

    i was mixing and feeding my blend through the emily bucket that dan bought of me (newholland). it wasn't accurate enough! thats why i changed. that 15 litre cow was eating 7 kgs of top quality blend a day and getting fat (and a feed rate that would make you grab a rope n head for the nearest tree now). .3/.33 on a high yielding herd is just where you need to be i think unless you have some decent maize/wholecrop to lower it a bit more.

  8. #8
    Mayo
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    I'd sooner have oopfs than in parlour feeders. Advantages, can feed a lot of conc in several feeds without feet falling off. Set for up to give maintenance plus a basal number of litres then feed to yield or health cost effectivel each kilo given to those who work hard enough for it. Staler cows don't get fat so health is improved immediately.

    Can work equally well with in parlour feeds or midday buffer or whatever.
    Just not exactly cheap these days. But then compared to the value of the grub passing through them is it that much?

  9. #9
    BigW
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Thanks for the replies, i will look into it further. We cant justify feeding a TMR/buffer to cows that dont need it, feed costs are going to be frightening this winter, i'm glad we have made big heap of pretty decent silage. How many litres should mid and late lactation cows be able to take of decent aftermarth grass?

  10. #10
    meandmycows
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    i put them in with the new dairy setup and took them out after second winter !
    cows milked well when they worked properly averaging 30 ltr a day off 0.4kg / ltr
    i would be very cautious about your farm setup being suitable for oopf.
    i did mistakes which ruined my plans for the oopf such as putting the 10 feeders in 1 run , they should be split in pairs through the housing , i had bully cows who picked cows up by the udder and dragged them out to nick a few pellets .
    splitting will sort the bullies
    also the fill sensor was at the end station - the least used , so the busy ones were always empty
    i`ve never been so glad to put something back on a lorry !

  11. #11
    Newholland
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    You limit your grazing ability with ofpf. Unless you make a mobile one, somebody on here has done a great job to get round the problem.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Whats the top end yield generally expected with in parlour feeders and OOPF with just silage fed at the passage?

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Whats the top end yield generally expected with in parlour feeders and OOPF with just silage fed at the passage?
    My mate was averaging 9000+ on a very simple system of just grass silage down a feed trough with maize on top & oopfs so guess that's an answer. Looking at them myself

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Whats the top end yield generally expected with in parlour feeders and OOPF with just silage fed at the passage?
    I have had cows do upto 16,000 litres on above system. You have complete control to achieve whatever you want and treat each and every one individually and take advantage of high genetic cows by continuing to keep chucking the food in if shes knocking out the milk or you can challenge them as much as you like to increase milk from forage or save on feed when feed to milk price ratios are less favourable.

    The one thing I notice more than ever is the consistent condition score at drying off and the less problems around calving because of this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by happycows View Post
    I have had cows do upto 16,000 litres on above system. You have complete control to achieve whatever you want and treat each and every one individually and take advantage of high genetic cows by continuing to keep chucking the food in if shes knocking out the milk or you can challenge them as much as you like to increase milk from forage or save on feed when feed to milk price ratios are less favourable.

    The one thing I notice more than ever is the consistent condition score at drying off and the less problems around calving because of this.
    Thats just what I wanted to hear

    I have eventually phased the wagon out, I am now feeding blend on the silage twice per day and feeding to yield in the parlour, absolutely no drop in milk and are creeping up recently, which I am not sure why....


    I was torn between doing without feeders in the new parlour and just going oopf, but in the end decided to keep the feeders and go for oopf's when cant get any more from my own system.

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Thats just what I wanted to hear

    I have eventually phased the wagon out, I am now feeding blend on the silage twice per day and feeding to yield in the parlour, absolutely no drop in milk and are creeping up recently, which I am not sure why....


    I was torn between doing without feeders in the new parlour and just going oopf, but in the end decided to keep the feeders and go for oopf's when cant get any more from my own system.
    How do you feed out your silage, is it just blocks?

  17. #17
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Thats just what I wanted to hear

    I have eventually phased the wagon out, I am now feeding blend on the silage twice per day and feeding to yield in the parlour, absolutely no drop in milk and are creeping up recently, which I am not sure why....


    I was torn between doing without feeders in the new parlour and just going oopf, but in the end decided to keep the feeders and go for oopf's when cant get any more from my own system.
    Is it not a lot more expensive to feed nuts through oopf's than straights through a wagon?

  18. #18
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Probably not a lot in it once you consider the overall costs for both.

    The real advantage in feeding through OOPFs and/or in parlour is total control of feed costs/litre and who gets your expensive concentrates and why. Not so easy in a wagon system using straights. I'm not that keen on straights anyway I don't think they really make sense except if you are talking a big herd using big quantities. I have a customer who is doing this and they have investigated blends and the costs between the two is very very close, so they will probably change in the spring when their existing straights contracts run out.

    The thing with capital expense on bins, feeders and wagons is that their cost is nearly irrelevant compared to the value of the materials you are putting through them. Over a year, on even a smaller herd, the saving and gains in production from having targeted fed to yield cows, more efficient use of feed and cow condition can be more easily managed it can soon add up.

    I don't know if replacing a wagon with OOPFs is necessarily the automatic decision, I guess it would depend on the materials involved, what forages you have and what value you put on them. Of course in larger herds a wagon becomes an important link in the chain because it becomes more practical to feed using it than having to shift tonne after tonne of maize/grass/wholecrop etc from point A to point B using a loader bucket alone.

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    A cautionary note on oopf. It is possible that the bully cows will stand and ram a heifer between the back legs while in the feeder to the point where she is well put off the idea. So your most vulnerable animal can get a bad deal.

    Its also worth noting that is is possible for forage to conc balance to slip into the red at very high levels of feeding. This can't happen with a tmr. Beware if feeding an average palatability grass silage, because you could find them spending lots of time loitering around the feeders rather than eating silage at the rail.

    That said, I think they are a good idea.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Steakeater View Post
    Is it not a lot more expensive to feed nuts through oopf's than straights through a wagon?
    Probably but the blend fed through the oopf's costs the same as the blend through the wagon

  21. #21
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by bigw View Post
    How do you feed out your silage, is it just blocks?
    Yes bales mostly these days and blocks in the back end

    Thankfully we have mighty silage this year however we ended up with it, but the wagon will be pulled out in a year with bad silage.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by DairyFarmer111 View Post
    A cautionary note on oopf. It is possible that the bully cows will stand and ram a heifer between the back legs while in the feeder to the point where she is well put off the idea. So your most vulnerable animal can get a bad deal.
    That would be my main concern, I know the oopf's I was thinking off distribute the meal slowly at about the speed a cow can eat it, so if a cow is bullied out there in theory shouldn't be much left in the trough, another iv seen was a gate that drops down behind to stop bullys getting at the cows in the feeder. I had planned to keep them well spaced around the sheds that quiet cows can always get a chance at getting fed.


    Quote Originally Posted by DairyFarmer111 View Post

    Its also worth noting that is is possible for forage to conc balance to slip into the red at very high levels of feeding. This can't happen with a tmr. Beware if feeding an average palatability grass silage, because you could find them spending lots of time loitering around the feeders rather than eating silage at the rail.

    That said, I think they are a good idea.
    I think if you are feeding in the parlour to yield and TMR you can still tip the balance, not a problem if you have the cows batched, but in bigger groups can have the same problem.

  23. #23
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by DairyFarmer111 View Post
    A cautionary note on oopf. It is possible that the bully cows will stand and ram a heifer between the back legs while in the feeder to the point where she is well put off the idea. So your most vulnerable animal can get a bad deal.

    Its also worth noting that is is possible for forage to conc balance to slip into the red at very high levels of feeding. This can't happen with a tmr. Beware if feeding an average palatability grass silage, because you could find them spending lots of time loitering around the feeders rather than eating silage at the rail.

    That said, I think they are a good idea.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc5i7toRPbY

  24. #24
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by happycows View Post
    Thats something like I was thinking off.

    Saw this just after thought it was a good idea

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3wEgnD6pAY

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Thats something like I was thinking off.

    Saw this just after thought it was a good idea

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3wEgnD6pAY
    Those look like a good job, probably pricey though. The only problem with having the oopf's spread out around the shed is that you would need augers running to each set. Ours only drop a small amount of feed at a time and as soon as the cow backs out the feed stops so hardly ever get any left for the next cow.

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Thats something like I was thinking off.

    Saw this just after thought it was a good idea

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3wEgnD6pAY
    Has anyone found out who is the uk distributer or do you buy direct? & the all important question of how much do they cost?

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenslades View Post
    Has anyone found out who is the uk distributer or do you buy direct? & the all important question of how much do they cost?

    Not available until march 2015

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    in NI Agri Data could probably supply it.

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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    sorry to be negative - a feed manger mounted to the side of the cow is the biggest disaster you could ever wish for. The cake wasted on the floor is serious, you dont get wasted cake with a feed manger straight in front. Talk to anybody who feeds in an abreast parlour, we must loose 20kg per 100cows per day onto the floor.

  30. #30
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    Re: Out of parlour feeders

    I see what you mean. The cow takes a mouthful and then lifts her head up out dropping nuts everywhere. Yer man never sees it because its over the slats!

    Remember if feeding blend to set the drop speed about half the speed of nuts. Also, the bully cow will be happy to barge a heifer out just to lick the dust if feeding blend.

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