PRESS BULLETIN No. 105.
rorlda Agricullural Experimeal Station.
A SPRING BALANCE IN THE DAIRY.
BY JOHN M. SCOTT.
The cost of the feed eaten, and the value of the milk produced by each
individual cow in the herd, are the important factors in determining the profit
or loss in dairying. The relation of these two factors to each other can only
be ascertained by the constant use of a balance in the dairy barn. By the
regular use of the balance, an accurate account of the feed consumed and the
milk produced by each cow can be obtained. If we know the daily consump-
tion of feed, and the daily production of milk, it only requires a few minutes'
reckoning at the end of the month, to know whether or not each cow in the
herd is producing enough milk to more than pay for the feed consumed during
THE UNPROFITABLE COW.
With the present high price of feeds, the margin between profit and loss
on each individual cow is extremely small. Therefore, it behooves the dairy-
man to consider very carefully, not only the cost of the daily ration, but also
the daily returns from each cow. It is impossible to know whether or not
every cow in the herd is paying a dividend, unless a strict record is kept of
the feed consumed and milk produced by each one. All cows in the herd that
do not give a sufficient profit in the course of a year, should be fattened and
sent to the butcher. It is not always the cow that consumes the least quan-
tity of feed that is the most profitable, nor is the reverse always true. Each
cow has her limit of economical production. For example: One cow in the
herd may prove to be an economical milker, if fed seven pounds of wheat
bran and two pounds of cotton-seed meal per day; while another cow may re-
quire ten pounds of wheat bran and three pounds of cotton-seed meal, to pro-
duce the maximum flow of milk, at the least cost per gallon. The only way
in which the dairyman can find this out, is by keeping an individual record.
THE BEST-PAYING COW.
The individual record of each animal is not only valuable while the dairy-
man is milking his herd, but it is also of great importance when he is buying
or selling an animal. A cow that is known to give two and a half or three
gallons of milk per day for eight or nine months of the year, is worth at
least twice as much as a cow that only gives the same amount per day for five
or six months. The mere fact that a cow on some particular day soon after
December 12, 1908.
calving gives three or four gallons of milk, is no assurance that she will con-
tinue to give a heavy flow during the greater part of the year. As stAted
above, the most valuable cow is the one that continues the heavy flow during
the greater part of the year. Hence the necessity of keeping a record for
the entire year.
No doubt everyone knows the gross amount spent for feed, and also the
amount received each month for milk from the entire herd. The difference
must pay for labor and interest on investment before a profit can be reckoned.
But this does not tell which cow is being fed at a loss. When we know the
amount of feed consumed and of milk produced, we can then eliminate the un-
All that is needed for keeping the record, in addition to what we already
have, is a spring balance. Suspend the spring balance from a beam in some
convenient place in the barn, and tack up a sheet of paper near the balance.
Have the sheet of paper ruled as follows: At the right, have a column ruled
for the dates. Across the top, have the names or numbers of all the cows.
To the left of the date, and below the name of each cow, record the weight
of milk each milking. A similar sheet may be used for the feed record.
State papers please copy.