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Economics

High Input Costs are Hurting Dairy Farm Profits.
A farm's largest inputs: $ Feed, $ Bedding, $ Fuel, $ Vet, $ Labour

What can a farmer do to reduce these costs?

Cut the Waste
Shallow waterbowls easily allow cows to spill litres of water over their feed and bedding. This creates an extra job of removing wet bedding or refused feed. This added waste results in larger storage requirements and higher application costs. Moisture promotes both the growth of mold in feed and bacteria in stalls that cause mastitis and hoof rot.

The Kendu Zero Spill is the only waterer in the world that effectively eliminates spills to provide a healthy dry environment for your cattle and their feed. Installing efficient waterers is a permanent method of reducing farm inputs and workload.

A) Manger
When feed gets wet it is less palatable and is rejected by cows and must be removed. Removing this wasted feed is a laborious task that must be done daily. Farmers estimate that at least 3.8 percent is wasted simply because it becomes wet. This translates into over $4000 worth of feed annually for an average 50 cow herd.

Since the shallow waterbowl was invented 80 years ago, major advancements in dairy nutrition have occurred. Every component of a ration has been studied to find the best formulations to make more milk and keep cows healthy. Major investments are made to buy large efficient equipment to plant, grow and harvest the highest quality feed and then expensive storage structures keep the quality in the feed until the costly processing and feeding equipment present it to the cow on their feed mangers. An incredible amount of time, effort and money goes into producing a ration to fuel milk production. It is frustrating to put this perfect ration in a manger where litres and litres of water are splashed on it to leave it as a mushy mess. It doesnít make fiscal sense to use antiquated machinery to plant, harvest and feed a dairy ration, so why use a waterbowl based on a 1920ís design for this crucial job of watering livestock. A $50 waterbowl can do a lot of damage to feed that took $100 000 worth of equipment to produced.

The feed manger is the last step that your feed takes before it enters your cows:

Steps Costs Risks result low yield/waste
Land Rent, interest, taxes, drainage interest rates
Cultivating Equipment, fuel, labour weather, breakdowns
Planting Seed, equipment, fuel, labour weather, breakdowns
Fertilizing fuel, fertilizer, equipment, labour weather, breakdowns
Spraying chemicals, fuel, labour weather, breakdowns
Harvesting equipment, fuel, labour weather, breakdowns
Transporting equipment, fuel, labour weather, breakdowns
Storage equipment, fuel, materials, labour weather, damages
Processing equipment, energy, labour  
Feeding equipment, energy, labour spilled water

Any feed takes a long journey that has its risks along the way. Losses can occur at any point and more investment is required at each step. This means that the value of a feed increases at every step until it reaches its peak value as it lies in your feed manger in front of your cattle. This would be the best time to protect it from unnecessary harm. Donít let water spilled from shallow waterbowls harm your valuable ration. Feed that has gotten wet is less palatable to cows and slows their consumption. You canít control the weather or fuel costs, but you can choose a Zero Spill waterbowl.

B) Stall
Wet stalls are a major cause of many harmful ailments for cattle. Wet stalls promote the growth of bacteria that cause mastitis and foot rot. Hooves that are constantly wet are soft and prone to foot ulcers. These 3 problems are frustrating and expensive to treat and lead to the majority of involuntary culls on dairy farms. Stalls that are constantly spilled on require large amounts of bedding to be replaced daily. This bedding is expensive and requires a lot of attention to maintain.

Cow Behaviour - When the farmerís away the cows will play.

The 2 most common times that cows will drink is after milking and after getting fresh feed. Both of these times the farmer is in the barn watching the cows drink. When cows are concentrating on consuming water, splashing is minimal. The majority of splashing occurs when cows have finished most of their feed and are simply bored. They play with the only toy they have; their waterbowl. Litres and litres of water can easily be spilled on to their remaining feed. The farmer is out of the barn while all of this splashing is done. Now that the feed is wet it is less palatable and the cow will prefer to wait until the wet feed is removed and replaced with fresh feed. If a farmer must regularly remove refused feed simply because it is wet, you can be sure that when the farmerís away his cows play.

 
     

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