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Zero grazing

  • 14-03-2023 7:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 630 ✭✭✭

    Hi we have 80 cows here with the milking platform only 37 acres so we supplement them with silage and ration year round, we are leasing another 100 acres for hay and silage, however we have been thinking of buying a zero grazer with years but have taken the plunge yet. we know they will increase in milk but we are worried of the time involved, the land we plan to zero graze is 4.5 miles away. has anyone here got a zero grazer and wat experience have ye with it. we make all our own silage and hay, so we cud cut down on that as well as expensive ration too so i think its a good idea but just want some opinions on it before buying


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,399 ✭✭✭giveitholly

    Would you not get a contractor in to zero graze for you in the first year and see how it goes and decide then is it worthwhile financially and labour wise to get your own one

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,989 ✭✭✭✭Water John

    If the contractor was getting regular work, his price should be keen/negotiable. Might not be worth your own effort, when you consider, time, depreciation, tractor wear.

    I've heard from someone who used to do it until land near home became available that it suppressed butterfat. Well he only disclosed that when he had stopped.😒

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,926 Mod ✭✭✭✭K.G.

    Slurry is the making of the zero grazing system especially at rates your proposing.i know people doing what you are going to do and they say they run with very little bag fert on that ground but are constantly applying alot of watery slurry back to the ground and have been doing it for some years.we tend just do it when we tight mainly spring and autumn and find it a help but it can be tricky to get with the weather and i think ye have access to baler i think you might be as well off to focus on high quality silage

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,601 ✭✭✭Mooooo

    Is the 100 acres in one block and a long term lease? If so may be as well to put up 14 unit parlour on the 100 acres? Calve and milk ar home till they can go out full time and move to outblock then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Bangoverthebar

    I milking 70 cows, gp is tight like yourself. I bought a zero grazer ab70 last year in the north. Cheap 10k

    I had used contractors before, but reliability, and cost put me off.

    I have land close to yard and some 6 miles away. No problem at all with distance. An hour a day for a load from further ground. 20 mins from closer.

    Cows love it, my cows eat a full load in 3 hours.

    My routine is milk, leave cows in yard to eat any leftover grass, go for a load and feed. Cows will have grass gone by 11.30 Back to paddock until milking time. I give a fresh allocation of grass every night.

    If im going away on holidays, i graze as normal and maybe feed two loads daily before or after to build up covers.

    I have had no issues with butterfat.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 630 ✭✭✭Henwin

    no its in 4 different blocks in all different directions. the land i want to zero graze is 5 miles down the road but it was in barley the last few years so my idea is reseed in the month and then reseed, there are 4 years left in the lease. getting a contractor every day for 6/ 7 months is too expensive. the repayments on a zero grazer is 2 lots of 3 grand every year so if i save on feed and the cost of making silage then its worth it i think, thanks for replies

  • Registered Users Posts: 745 ✭✭✭Pinsnbushings

    Have you put a figure on the extra cost per litre with zero grazing? Curious to see at what point is it break even as have a very similar farm to yourself and the only way I can expand would be through bringing in feed from outside blocks..thought about it several times but work off farm instead. I need to invest in the parlour also if I was to go up in numbers

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,989 ✭✭✭✭Water John

    You could do a mix of things. Use the zero grazer, on some. Reseed that block with red clover and take 4 cuts/year of bales. Cut down the ration and fertiliser bill.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,276 ✭✭✭Anto_Meath

    Heard lads talking recently that cases of TB can increase with Zero Grazing, their theory was the badger pisses on the grass, this grass is then mowed and mixed up with all the other grass in the wagon, this reduces the smell of piss on the grass, so the cows eat it all up including the TB bacteria. Where as in a field a cow will smell the piss on the grass and leave it behind her so less likely to get infected. I do notice that any dairy farms that has had an out break of TB around here would do an element of Zero Grazing and they have cone down with big numbers which would support the theory of grass mixing in the wagon spreading the bacteria.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,328 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    Neighbour here went down one time and blamed the zero grazing

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  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Bangoverthebar

    If you have badgers with tb, you will have tb in the cattle. Zero grazing or not