Extensive Bush Dairy

The Extensive Bush Dairy (EBD) incorporates a simple trailer as the milking parlour. It is run on natural pastures or veld using cross-bred cattle that can survive in a harsher environment than pure-breds. Milking machines can be fitted for a big herd, but hand milking is recommended to begin with.

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The EBD will naturally improve pastures due to cows moving to different grazing every day and fertilising the ground with their manure. Cows will have very few cases of mastitis as they are moving around and there is no chance for bacteria to build up, and their hoof health will be preserved.

Production with cross-bred cows is lower than with pure breds, but the maintenance and start-up costs of the extensive UB and of cross-bred cows are much lower than for the intensive UBD or a traditional parlour that uses pure-bred cows. Irrigation is also not required which is a major saving.

The EBD and M.A.R.S pens for raising calves can be set up in one day, and moved easily to where the best pastures are. An EBD is a good step for a small-scale farmer wishing to grow to a medium-scale dairy farmer.