Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
On-farm analysis was conducted to compare management systems for the milking herd, heifer replacements and calves in five large and four small dairy cattle farms in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon in the Philippines. Farm capacity in terms of number of dairy cows, land area,number of workers and farm’s daily milk production was higher in large dairy cattle farms (20 or more cows) than small farms (less than 20 cows). However, the differences in daily milk yield per cow, number of cows per hectare and per worker suggest the limitations and opportunities to improve basic farm management in order to improve efficiency of production in large and small dairy farms. Breed of cattle, milking collection system and milking practices were different between large and small farms. There were also differences in reproductive management practices, calving management, housing and feeding systems and herd health program and disease problems. The milking herd, replacement heifers and calves in large farms had generally better body condition and animal cleanliness scores than those in small farms. This study suggests that on-farm analysis should be used regularly by local dairy farmers, consultants, students and extension agents to generate specific recommendations for individual large and small dairy cattle (and buffalo) farms. Economics of production should be considered in the future to compare farm profitability among dairy cooperatives, individual private farms, commercial farms and institutional farms.