Document Type : Original Article


1 Animal Production Research Institute, Agric. Research Center, Ministry of Agric., Dokki, Giza, Egypt

2 The Central Laboratory for Agric. Expert Systems (CLAES), Agric. Research Center, Ministry of Agric., Dokki, Giza, Egypt

3 Animal Production Dept., Fac. of Agric., Ain Shams Univ., Cairo, Egypt


Computational model was designed for feeding systems of small dairy farms in Egypt under Mixed Farming System (MFS) (Crops/livestock). The present case study was selected from El-Beheira governorate, where the three common dairy animals (Local cows, Crossbred cows and buffaloes) are available. The main objectives of this study were 1- To find out the optimum combination of inputs from farm green forage and cash crops to minimize animal feeding costs. 2- Asses the possibilities of increasing the farm income by least cost rations formulation using available feed resources for dairy cattle. Technical coefficients of the models were obtained from previous studies under Egyptian condition. The model proposed three scenarios: Scenario I (S I) calculated the actual feeding situation from the case study without any changes as base run, scenario II (S II) proposed to cover animal feeding requirements of the same herd in scenario (S I) from the same available feed resources according to NRC (2001) and scenario III (S III) operating on the available feeding package quantities or reallocated farm feed resources for the same herd. The model used the common feed in summer and winter seasons (300 days) while, two months were considered as transitional period between two seasons, where irregular animal feeding regime is adopted. The results showed that area cultivated with green forages can be reduced by 17% and 25% of total planted area in SII for winter and summer, respectively, compared to base run (SI). Where as in S III, the green forage cultivated areas reduced by 30% and 25% for winter and summer, respectively in comparison with SI, feeding costs in SII were reduced by 51.11% and 38.97% in winter and summer, respectively. Using available feeding packages and reallocated farm resources in SIII reduced feeding costs by 47.78% and 27.67% for winter and summer, respectively. It can be concluded that using available feeding packages or reallocated animal feeding resources either in SII and SIII achieved a considerable reduction on animal feeding costs of small-scale mixed farms compared to base run scenario (SI).