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Conference paper2012Peer reviewed

A rotational winter grazing system for beef cattle - production costs in relation to animal welfare, working environment and environmental impact

Salomon, Eva; Kumm, Karl-Ivar; Lidfors, Lena; Lindgren, Kristina; Torstensson, Gunnar


Keeping beef cattle outdoors during winter could be inexpensive. Our objective was to design a rotational grazing system that can fulfil the aims of low production costs, good animal welfare, good working environment and low environmental impact. The design produced was evaluated during two years with suckler cows (71 cows ha(-1) month(-1)) given access to a weather shelter, a new pen every month and a new feeding area every week. The system was set up in autumn and only manually portable equipment was moved during winter. Calculations included annual investment and labour costs for two design cases compared with indoor wintering. Annual costs in a 38-suckler cow herd were SEK 1500 and 1200 cow(-1) for the two design cases, compared with SEK 3000 cow(-1) for conventional indoor wintering. The rotational grazing design has the potential to achieve good animal welfare and a good working environment, but phosphorus surface runoff losses are too high.


design; investment; equipment; working hours

Published in

Landbauforschung Völkenrode. Sonderheft
2012, Volume: 362, pages: 93-96 Title: Tackling the Future Challenges of Organic Animal Husbandry : 2nd Organic Animal Husbandry Conference Hamburg, Trenthorst, 12-14 September, 2012
ISBN: 978-3-86576-094-4
Publisher: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut


2nd Organic Animal Husbandry Conference on Tackling the Future Challenges of Organic Animal Hosbandry, SEP 12-14, 2012, Hamburg, GERMANY