Advantages & Disadvantages of Zero-Grazing Dairy Cattle Production

Advantages of zero grazing dairy cattle production systems

  • Diversification of household income sources.
  • On-farm production of milk, which improves household nutrition.
  • The animals are kept inside which is more secure and protect them from attack by predators.
  • Increased opportunities for small-scale farmers to keep improved dairy animals.
  • The feeds are utilised well—- reduced pasture damage.
  • Many animals can be fed from a very small area.
  • Easy collection of manure for soil fertility improvement, crop and biogas production.
  • Increased use of crop residues, fodder grasses, legumes and multipurpose fodder trees and shrubs in producing high value products,
  • Disease and pest control made easier.
  • Easier animal health management.
  • Close observation of the animals is possible, making heat detection and attendance to animals easier and faster.
  • In addition to milk production, a farmer also gets calves, which in turn grow up into heifers, which will produce more milk, or a bull, which can be sold to generate more income.

Disadvantages of zero grazing dairy cattle production systems

  • Requires animals of higher genetic potential to make economic sense, which is more expensive.
  • More resources (capital and labour) are devoted to construction of a zero-grazing unit, chopping the fodder, feeding in the stalls, cleaning the stalls and transporting manure to the fields.
  • Large amounts of pasture and supplements required for high milk producers.
  • Increased expenses on disease control and treatment, because high milk producing cows are more susceptible to diseases such as milk fever.
  • Diseases can easily spread to animals in the same enclosure because stalls might be too close.
  • There is a possibility that animals are stressed because of too much confinement inside the zerograzing units.
  • It might not be easy to detect cows with silent heat if you are keeping one cow.


Share this Content online

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter