Cattle house construction: cost-benefit-calculation
Cattle house construction: cost-benefit-calculation

Cheap construction = better construction?

No, more expensive investments make sense, when they are counterbalanced through additional benefits.
Decisive is building a stable as inexpensively as possible, where work efficiency and enjoyment can be increased and operational sequences optimized.
Savings in the wrong place can result in insufficient cow comfort and a sinking yield, as well as an unnecessarily high work load!

The benefits additional investments must provide:

Depreciation/financing time 200 €/cow350 €/cow500 €/cow
8 years15 years8 years15 years8 years15 years
Additional costsper cow/year1)36.00 €24.33 €63.00 €42.58 €90.00 €60.83 €
per kg milk2)0.40 ct/kg0.27 ct/kg0.70 ct/kg0.47 ct/kg1.00 ct/kg0.68 ct/kg

Working time reduction

man hour/ cow*year3)

2.40 Akh1.62 Akh4.20 Akh2.84 Akh6.00 Akh4.06 Akh
sec/cow*day3)24 sec.16 sec.42 sec.28 sec.60 sec.40 sec.

Needed increase in milk yield4)

240 kg163 kg420 kg284 kg600 kg406 kg

Reduction in mastitis rate5)

8.0 %5.5 %14.0 %9.5 %20.0 %13.6 %

Reduction in replacement rate6)

4.3 %2.9 %7.5 %5.1 %10.6 %7.2 %

Reduction in concentrate feed7)

1.44 dt0.97 dt2.52 dt1.70 dt3.60 dt2.43 dt
  1. depreciation, financing costs (5 percent interest) and maintenance costs (3 percent p.a.)
  2. at 9000 kg milk yield p.a.
  3. 15 Euro/man hour wage estimate or costs
  4. 0.15 Euro/kg marginal benefit per additional kg of milk
  5. clinical mastitis costs 450 Euro on the average
  6. 850 Euro net replacement costs per animal (1,500 Euro costs per heifer – 650 Euro proceeds per cow culled)
  7. 25 Euro/dt concentrate feed

Source: DLZ, 8/2009, „Wie geil ist Geiz?“

(note: data of increase and reduction rates refer to one year)

KRAIBURG example: potential additional benefits through soft mats:

Savings in maintaining cubicles
(compared to straw manure mattress)
about 365 kg litter per cubicle and year (*1)
about 170 man-minutes per cow and year for cubicle maintenance (*2)
Increased milk yield1.5 kg more milk per cow and day through soft lying areas (*3)
Cost savings through shortening the intercalving period from 99 to 60 days on soft walking areas (*4)Each return to oestrus costs 100 € (*5) on the average
Reducing the risk of lameness through soft lying and walking areasEstimates on the costs of claw diseases are between Ø € 302 and € 330 per case! (treatment expenses + follow-up costs) (*6)

*1 calculations made by KTBL 2008/09
*2 Heidenreich Thomas, Vortrag an der Lfl Sachsen, Köllitsch, Deutschland 2007
*3 information by Versuchsgut Köllitsch, Lfl Sachsen, 1999
*4 Kremer et al. „Reproduction traits in dairy cows on elastic or concrete flooring“, Oberschleißheim, Deutschland, 2006
*5 Gabriele Arndt, Allgäuer Bauernblatt 12/ 1999
*6 Dr. Gerhard Wittkowski „Hohe Milchleistung? Nur mit gesunden Klauen!“ Milchpur 3/2007

Conclusion: a cheap construction can be expensive year after year!

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