After the first experiments on food during 2012, the results and discussions with breeders helped to highlight the major problems of feeding cows and actions. One of the priorities identified by farmers and the technical team of the GBDC (Georgian Business Development Center) is access to water.
Traditionally, cows are going to drink trough twice a day in some water sources fitted out in the streets of the village or in the streams. This method presented multiple inconveniences:
- Access to the water only twice a day, which does not allow to supply the necessary water at the crucial moments of the meals and the milking and thus induces the loss of production.
- Access to a very cold water in winter slowing down the process of the digestion and consuming energy.
- Need a lot of labor twice a day to loosen the cows, out, wait until they are drinking and go back to the cowshed.
To answer these problems, the collaboration of the breeders with the team and the suppliers of farm implements allowed to innovate by setting up a system of abreuvement automatic in cowsheds. A tank placed in the cowshed allows the heat produced by the cows to warm the distributed water. Cows have from now on access to the at will water.
This facility constructed in three villages (7 farms) won the enthusiasm of farmers. The first measures show an increase in milk production by at least 15% in the winter, but most breeders have appreciated the time saved working at least an hour a day!
A fast analysis, which will be refined during winter 2013-2014, shows that the installation would be made profitable in 1 – 2 years. A first brochure is in the course of distribution to show these results in villages surroundings.