Study on Basic Criteria of a Grade of Dairy Farms with Different Herd Size

1 Institute of Animal Science, BG – 2232 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria
2 Complex Experimental Station, BG – 3700 Vidin, Bulgaria
3 Agricultural Institute, BG - 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria


RUSEV, N., S. BACHVAROVA, V. GAIDARSKA, Ts. HARIZANOVA, P. STOYKOV and T. IVANOVA, 2012. Study on basic criteria of a grade of dairy farms with different herd size. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 18: 958-964

In the present study a comprehensive assessment according to basic criteria of cattle farms with different capacities was made. The study is carried out through visits and personal interviews with farmers according to the certain methodology. Farms were divided according to their capacity into three groups. The following parameters were monitored: status of the herd, milk production, reproduction, service period, health status, feeding, milking, cleaning and recycling of manure, microclimate, management and economics of the farms. The result of the study showed that herd size had no significant effect on milk production. There is a clear trend for higher milk production with increasing number of cows in the herd. Farms with more than 50 cows have 13.11% higher average milk yield compared to the group up to 25 cows and 6.12% higher than the farms with herd size from 26 to 50 cows. Length of service period in the investigated dairy farms range from 60 to 140 days, the shortest service period is reached in small and medium-sized farms - 82.5 and 81.5 days, where the cows raised stablepasture during the summer period. The selection mainly in large farms is in a better level compared to that in small farms. In larger farms first class bulls with high reliability and inheritance of the type and milk production were used. Only 10% of investigated farms apply modern system of feeding TMR. Farms with 51 to 460 cows have significantly higher grade for the quality of milking process and they use milking equipment, which directly influence over the better quality of milk than in small farms. With increasing of the farm size, the grade is higher in management, economics and development prospects, which indicates higher competitiveness of these farms.

Key words: cattle – breeding, estimation, cow milk, management, economics

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