Milking 25 cows

FarmerL

Member
Hi there lads and ladies
I don't know if this is a stupid idea or what but I was thinking of starting milking on a small/medium scale 25 to 30 cows
I am 40 and married with 4 kids from 4 to 14 and we both have full time jobs. We have decent pay but money from milking would help with college for the lads and children as ye know are the most costly thing to ever have!
I currently have about a mix of
limousin and limx sucklers about 20 cows and keep the heifers to sell as I calf and also buy 20 suck calves to finish each year. I have a slatted shed for 30,calving pens straw shed and outbuildings
Own 25 and rent 25 long term acres and was wondering about buying 20 British freisan heifers and rearing a few calves, buying a second hand 6 unit parlour and bulk tank and putting it into an existing shed.
I would be able to graze all my 25 - 30 cows on the owned 25 acre block and put them in to the shed when it is wet
My neighbour has a zero grazer and would bring a few loads into the shed for me when I'm too wet or short on grass ect from my leased land
I would cut silage on the rented land
I would half the cost by selling all my own stock to pay for the new dairy heifers and I saw cheap 6 unit parlour on done deal for about 5000 euros with everything included (feeders ect)
A bit of labour for a week and I could put in the parlour as I'm handy at welding as well as a few fabricators
I did the costs up and it is about 45k including upgrading water
I halve that by selling stock, have 15k savings and short term loan the rest
I was thinking I would have a fine milk check each year as I won't have to pay for grazing at 300 euros an acre like the 200 cow men
Also labour is fine as I have a 14 year old son and 12 years old who are mad for farming
Sorry for the long rant, wondering if it might be interesting to discuss and might seem a cost effective way of making a loss making hobby into a tidy profitable part time job for many other 20-25 cow suckler men
Thanks
 

CavanJacks

Well-Known Member
Midlife crisis?? Maybe not. Do you not find life quite busy enough as it is op.you mentioned the 2 young lads are keen to farm & no doubt are,i could though see them getting their fill of it in time.

Why?with you working full-time,&them home early in the evenings &school holidays, you could start to get reliant on them as the years wear on &this is how it could happen.

That would be somewhat different if you were at home full-time. I'd be in similar circumstances to yourself,though i quit milking cows here almost 20 years ago.
I've no plans to go back,despite land &facilities suiting well for it.

I look forward to others views on your plans.best of luck anyhow
 

Tipp_Man

Well-Known Member
Go for it I’d say, once you have a fair idea of what it entails and you’d be happy to be milking 7 days then I see no reason not to.

what you could do is give yourself a bit of time to think it over by buying 30 heifer calves. This would give you a couple years to get yourself sorted with a parlour, water, fencing etc

and would spread your spending out over a longer period which could help cashflow
 

FarmerL

Member
We usually start work on farm at half six, I feed the silage and son feeds calves and cleans cubicles for 40 cattle and 20 calves. This takes about an hour
I'm guessing it would be the same time during the winter with 25 freisans but when we are milking in the summer, my 14 year old would be off school to milk in the morning and evening and I would tidy up each evening after work and set the place up for the week (collect ration and fix things ect)
Silage and machinery jobs would be fine as young lad has been driving tractors since he was 10 do has plenty of experience
I can arrange for my 2 week yearly holiday to do silage at anyway
It would be a platform for the son to farm part time because he will obviously go to college as there isn't a full time wage in a 30 acre farm
 

Mf240

Well-Known Member
You have cubicles and all by the sounds of it.
You only need parlour so.
Could do worse. Are you making money as it is .
 

mixedbag

Well-Known Member
Should be able to make €1000 per cow profit, so 30k from your 30 cows. From that you’ll have to pay bank repayments, tax man and yourself. If you can get set up with little or no borrowings it will work, but will always be part time at that scale
 

FarmerL

Member
Thanks for the replies people
You know yourself suckling part time is really only a hobby although it takes the work of a full time job and is stressful around calving ect
If you Could have 25 or 30 dairy cows making 1000 € per cow for roughly the same expense and work as the same number of dry cattle that are losing money without grants and SFP then that would be the thing to do
Anyone know the rough price of a second hand 4 to 6 unit parlour installed with bulk tank?
Most dry stock farms have the sheds but the parlour is the real bogey
A decent small one off someone who has expanded to a 10 or 15 unit would do the job I'm guessing
 

FarmerL

Member
The tax would be a problem with the two of us working
I could get the wife a herd number and put her down so we could get tax back as she is a working part time at the moment and is on a lower salary than me
As ye said the young lads will be at Green cert age in a few years
The money would be decent Dron milking but would pay for college fees and savings ect
When the children are working and earning money hopefully they will be able to buy more land and then you could milk decent numbers but 25-30 cows would be a nice start
 

13spanner

Well-Known Member
The tax would be a problem with the two of us working
I could get the wife a herd number and put her down so we could get tax back as she is a working part time at the moment and is on a lower salary than me
As ye said the young lads will be at Green cert age in a few years
The money would be decent Dron milking but would pay for college fees and savings ect
When the children are working and earning money hopefully they will be able to buy more land and then you could milk decent numbers but 25-30 cows would be a nice start
That’s a bit extreme.
 

scoffcruddle

Well-Known Member
Over here you wouldn't get a milk buyer for such a low volume,my own dairy heavily penalizes anyone under 1000 litres a day.

Regards build costs for a parlour it all depends on how much you can do yourself,I built a 12/24 in 2002 for under £5k,did everything myself and bought 2nd hand equipment.
 

FIAT 450

Well-Known Member
Before you do anything you may go to your nearest milk purchaser and see if they are will to take milk. Second go to your accountant and a good agri one at that and see if it actually worth your while or will you be just working for the tax man.
 

mfield

Well-Known Member
Who was it posted recently along the lines of “at least in prison you don’t have to milk either end of the day” ?

Depends on how many cigarettes you have been traded for that day.

Pay the kids their max tax free threshold

If the kids tax credits are going a begging you should be doing this anyway. You can offset a loss in farming against your employment for 2 years running and a 3rd if you make some sort of application, the details of which I can't remember.
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
A few milk vending machines going in round here.
If either of you work in a populated area. Or the farm is in the correct spot, there could be more money in 10 cows than 30??
A story sells well too. 10 cows puting the kids through collage sounds good!

Added value in making cheese and butter to vend allong side them.
 

Rusty Spade

Well-Known Member
It's definitely doable and will make more money than sucklers once the loans are paid off.
Youre saying about doing this to put the kids through college but youre also saying the kids will be doing the bulk of the work during the week while youre working. What plan have you to work and still get the cows milked when the kids are studying for their exams and when they head off to college?
 
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