Data obtained by conducting a survey on 132 dairy farms selected by the stratified random sampling method was used to assess effect of farm size on Cultural Energy (CE) expenditure of dairy cattle production. Dairy cattle farms were divided into three groups according to farm size. Accordingly farm groups were assigned as group 1 (farms that had 1-2 lactating cows, 53 farms), group 2 (farms that had 3-5 lactating cows, 51 farms) and group 3 (farms that had more than 5 lactating cows, 28 farms). Total cultural energy expended included cultural energy expended on feed, dairy operations, transportation, machinery and equipment. Cultural energy expended on feed was similar for farm groups (p>0.05) and it constituted more than half of the total cultural energy. As farm size increased cultural energy required producing a kg of milk decreased and group 3 had lower CE requirement than other farm groups (p<0.05). Cultural energy expended (Mcal) per Mcal protein energy output was lowest for group 3 (p<0.05). Efficiency defined as Mcal input/Mcal output was better for group 3 and differed from other farm groups (p<0.05). Results show that as farm size increases efficiency of converting cultural energy into milk increases. Thus in order to be more sustainable in dairying farm size should be increased without interfering cattle performance. PDFFulltextXMLReferencesCitation
How to cite this article
V. Demircan and T. Binici, 2009. Effect of Herd Size on Sustainability of Dairy Production. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 4: 60-65.