The Watershed College Dairy uses a Total Mixed Ration (TMR) feeding system which means that the animals do not go out and graze, instead their food is brought to them in their paddocks. Prior to the construction of the new feeding parlour the animals were fed in groups around portable troughs. The new structure enables the individual feeding of the animals which has the following advantages:
1. Ensures that each cow is fed separately removing the competition that exists with group feeding. This optimises milk production and ensures good body condition.
2. Cows can be specifically fed to stimulate their reproductive cycling after they have calved down.
3. Each animal is observed at every meal which helps to detect sick animals or animals on heat.
4. Reduces wastage while feeding as any spilled feed lands on the concrete floor and can be swept up and reused.
5. Lighting in the building allows feeding in the early hours of the morning when it is still dark.