Zero Grazer have announced that the beef research center at Teagasc Grange have commenced zero grazing with a group of 200 steers.
Project Co-ordinator Dr.Claire Fitzsimons advised "We are conducting an experiment with 200 steers (half late-maturing continental breed & half Holstein-Friesian), which is evaluating the repeatability of feed efficiency across different diets on an individual animal basis."
The diets in question are high-concentrates, grass silage, zero-grazed grass and grazed grass. They are currently on the zero-grazed grass ‘phase’. Ideally, we would determine the feed efficiency of the cattle while grazing however, there is currently no appropriate technology available to measure individual grazed grass intake accurately enough and over a sufficiently prolonged duration (ca. 10 weeks). For this reason, we are the only one's using zero-grazing; we harvest and transport fresh grass twice-daily and the cattle are fed through our electronic Calan-gate system to determine individual intake. Over the same time period we will be recording animal live weight (along with other measurements) in order to determine the feed efficiency and growth performance of each animal.
The research will form part of PhD student, Sean Coyle from Co.Roscommon's studies.
"We had been speaking to Zero Grazer® on an on going basis and decided to go ahead with the project for the summer of 2015. The company have been long associated with the concept, their knowledge and expertise are a very important part of the study."
Speaking to Niall O’Reilly from Zero Grazer®, "We are delighted to be part of the study. Now in our 11th year in business and we look forward to the findings. We have many beef farmers using our range of machines. From our point of view, it is beef on the bone or milk in the tank. Daily weight gain achieved with our machines have been in the range of 1kg -2.5kgs. The better the animal, the better the gain."
Mr O'Reilly Continued "We aim to provide the best range of machines, the best service and the best knowledge. We have some of the top beef and dairy farmers in Ireland and UK using them. They continue to use our company as a source of information and expertise. It is something we take great pride in. We dont just sell a machine, we make sure you get the best from it."
Zero grazing has gained much popularity in recent years. The success of this is down to Zero Grazer® who have really reinvented the concept to suit Irish conditions. The machines are well engineered and simple to operate. The company now offer a total of 15 sizes, the AB70 and the ZG75 being the 2 most popular models.
That's Farming recently visited a farmer who had just bought a Zero Grazer to see how he has made his farm more efficient.