Visited a farm in County Waterford with 180 cows milking. A partnership was formed with an adjoining farm allowing access to his farm and increasing cow numbers milked through the one unit. Numbers stand at 180 cows milking. However, because of farm fragmentation and structure, the cows have to walk up to 1.8 kms for grazing, This is very demanding on the cows and roadways would need to be excellent to accomodate the presence of the cows feet. Lameness becomes a big issue and in turn causes major fertility problems. Farm fragmentation is a major factor with distances required to travel for grazing. One would question whether is would be better to have zero grazing and bring grass to the cow.
Dr Dan Ryan, Reprodoc Ltd