Basic mistake which people make when considering cost is they take pricing as a whole. You need to understand that different feeds have different amounts of water content. When water is removed, what is left is called dry matter (DM). The cow utilises DM and not water.
So for example
Napier - DM = 20% which means that when you feed 10 kg napier, cow is getting only 2 kg DM.
Maize - DM = 35%.
Dry straw - DM = 90%.
Concentrate ingredients - DM=90%.
So costing should be done by comparing the items at the same level. Rs. 14/ kg for concentrates is for 90% DM whereas Rs. 3 or Rs. 4 for green fodder is for 20-30% DM. So if you wish to bring it to same level, then the green fodder will cost Rs. 9/kg.(3 times compensating for water). This is not accounting protien. Concentrates give 20% protien with highest DM, whereas if you wish to achieve the same protien from green fodder, you will have to feed huge quantities.
Napier - 5-7% CP
Maize - 10-12% CP. So at least double quantity.
Some costing information, not perfect.
[ul][li]Legume such as lucerne, subabul etc. - At least Rs. 6 / kg[/li]
[li]Grasses - [/li]
[li]Napier - I dont recommend at all due to major fault with this fodder. Causes calcium defieciency, no guarantee on yield and Dm is very low( as explained below), difficult to harvest. Anyone wonders why this is not used in USA, Europe or Australia but rather only in third world countries?
[/li][li]Maize - Best fodder - Rs. 2 / kg. You may think yield is less, but my experience is yield on DM basis is same or more than Napier. And protein is more.
[/li][li]Silage from Maize - Rs. 3 / kg.[/li]
[li]Dry fodder - Rs. 5 / kg is fair price.[/li][/ul]
I know its very technical, but dairy farming is very technical. you have to take it from scientific and technical point of view if you have to save money and at the same time keep cows healthy.
Normal non-milking HF cow weighing around 500 kgs requires 10 kg DM which should be divided between green fodder, dry fodder and concentrates. And then you have to add for milking ration. My view is HF cow 500 kgs giving 20 lts milk needs 16 kg DM.
So divide based on that.
- 1/3 green fodder - 5kg DM - 20 kgs maize fodder or 25 kg napier.
- 1/3 dry fodder - 5 kg DM - 6 kg dry fodder
- 1/3 concentrates - 5 kg DM - 6 kg concentrates, but make sure that the concentrates are rich in protien by using more oil cakes or soya products since you need to compensate protein which is not enough is the fodder and that too in limited ration.
If you plan to use dicod or fodder trees, then remember that fodder also has only 20% DM. Which means costing should be based on that and max quantity that can be fed is only 4 kg /cow or you risk bloat cases.
You can alter the above proprtions to reduce costs by adjusting quantities of grass and concentrates.
All this is based on my last 2 years experience and referring books which sadly no one refers, not even our wonderful veternerians. They should be responsible for spreading this kind of information.
Good luck with calculations.