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Technical Field

The present invention relates to an embodiment of a new generation pasture substructure that has been designed for livestock grazing. Within said embodiment, pasture has been provided with a movable carriage apparatus for moving livestock to graze them on the pasture. The animals positioned on said carriage apparatus are thus enabled to graze on the pasture assigned to said livestock in a planned and regulated manner .

Prior Art

One of the most important resources in meeting the protein need of a gradually increasing population of people is livestock raising.

Rather than genetic factors, environmental factors have more effect on the efficiency of livestock raising. Many researchers have shown that environmental factors are 70% effective while genetic factors are 30% effective.

For example, the annual amount of coarse fodder required for a cattle of culture origin is calculated as 4.5 tonnes. 4.5 tonnes of coarse fodder correspond to 7 tonnes of corn silage and 1.5 tonnes of fodder (alfalfa, vetch, barley-oats-wheat harvest, sainfoin, etc.) . Therefore, calculations are made by considering that the livestock farm to be constructed or already constructed is required to have at least 2.5 decares of irrigated land or 5 decares of dry land per animal.

For example, the cattle and small cattle that are herbivorous are being fed by grazing on very limited pastures (for 3-5 months, barren) . However, insufficient efficiency and amount of pastures result in limited use of said pastures for livestock feeding.

Due to the lack of pastures in Turkey and similar countries, livestock farmers graze their animals on lands that contain remnants of agricultural products inside (remnants of pesticides and chemical fertilizers) and they try to feed their animals by sowing forage plants including alfalfa + vetch + barley + corn, etc. on agricultural lands to meet the need for fodder of animals and also by purchasing beet pulp, corn silage.

As there will be a considerable cost for an animal if the livestock farmer provides the fodder of the animal from different resources, it will also lead to an increase in production cost and thus an increase in prices of animals/meat/milk .

In accordance with the publication titled "Cattle Breeding" published by the Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Agriculture And Forestry, in the case of cattle breeding performed by using current systems and methods, 60-70% of the management expenses occurring for the entire process of cattle breeding result from forage.

As a matter of fact, livestock raising is not a profitable business in Turkey and similar countries. During the animal breeding implementations, even if diseases, animal deaths, and similar unexpected outcomes are not experienced, the profit of a livestock farmer is approximately 10%.

As mentioned above, when considering that the livestock farmer has the fodder expense of nearly 70%, the management expense of 15% and the veterinary service - medicine expense of 5%, the profit amount of said farmer hardly reaches 10%.

When the management is run with such a low-profit rate, if animals get injured/die, or in case of any drought and similar conditions, it causes the management to easily incur a loss. Therefore, livestock raising is increasingly becoming a business segment that is not preferred and even abandoned.

The regions that receive a great amount of rain and have plenty of water but that are not extremely hot can be preferred for high quality and cheap fodder production. For example, 560 kg of fodder is obtained per decare in pasture areas in Europe while this amount hardly reaches to 69 kg in Turkey .

The primary preference of cattle and small cattle in grazing is fresh green leaves. Following the fresh green leaves, they eat old green leaves, green stems, dried leaves, and dried stems, respectively. They prefer fresh forage to stale forage, and green coarse fodders to dry coarse fodders .

On the other hand, it is known that the animals fed with fresh and green fodder are healthier and they produce meat/milk of much higher quality.

Similarly, as the quality of meat/milk of the animals fed with fresh fodder shall increase, the products produced by these animals that are raised by the use of this type of feeding will create more added values.

For instance, the meat and milk products with the expression "This product is manufactured from the animals eating meadow grass only" written on their labels which are put on the market in some European countries can be sold for higher prices .

A patent application numbered CA2764951 describes a management and operation system for managing dairy animals. Said system is operated with the basis of obtaining milk continuously from dairy animals and comparing the protein-energy amounts consumed by the animal. Depending on the comparison result, at least one dairy animal is allowed to access the grassy pasture. Therefore, it is aimed to prevent the animal from consuming an undesired excess amount of protein.

A patent application numbered US3972307 discloses a movable fence that is suitable to be used for controlling grass and grazing. It is aimed to enable a certain number of animals to graze only within a determined area by changing location and position and of the fence.

In a patent application numbered US5355834, a feeding control device is described. With said device, it is aimed to control feeding durations and amounts in a feeding area in which a collective feeding source is stored at the end of the land. Said device is comprised of an electrical barrier that extends through a yard and a mechanism that is used for moving the barrier toward a feeding area at a feeding time and for retracting said barrier from the feeding area at other times. The barrier is controlled by a movable and programmable timer.

An embodiment subject to a patent application numbered US5355834 defines a controlled barrier that is designed to enable animals to reach feeding areas. However, the structure has not been designed to be suitable to allow pastures (grazing lands) to be used for animals in a controlled manner. On the other hand, said embodiment is actually related to an assembly that can be used for providing stacked instant fodders to animals in a limited manner.

Another embodiment subject to another patent application numbered US5572954 describes an assembly that can be used for controlled use of pastures and similar grazing environments. For controlled grazing, two pivotal irrigation systems are used. Electric fences are formed to allow such controlled grazing to be performed and to allow grazing levels to be controlled within said embodiment subject to the application.

Even though the embodiment subject to the application numbered US5572954 enables pastures and grazing environments to be used in a controlled manner, animals are only allowed to graze on the part of the pasture that is assigned for grazing. In this case, the excrements created by animals may cause damage to grasses. Furthermore, when animals move around on the pasture, it may lead to efficiency-reducing effects on the yield efficiency of the pasture.

In the scope of the embodiment subject to the application numbered US5572954, pastures are assigned to livestock grazing by being divided into suitably sized areas such that the animals are enabled to move around on.

After a group of animal grazes on an area for a period of time, this area grazed is left empty to become ready for the next grazing and other areas are used. In this case, the area assigned for gazing is required to be vast.

Another patent application numbered US4721061 discloses an apparatus having the form of a labyrinth that has been developed for controlling grazing and irrigation in pasture. Said apparatus is intended to be moved through on the roads formed by a labyrinth at a quite slow speed.

Similarly, vast grazing lands would be required for operating the apparatus disclosed in the embodiment subject to the patent document numbered US4721061.

An embodiment subject to a patent application numbered US2002011595 discloses an apparatus that is used for dividing an area to confine animals that are likely to be present in pasture .

The structures that are already known from the prior art and are disclosed in detail above are in the form of a barrier, fence, hedge, etc. which are formed to control the animals' access to fodder and/or grass. The main aim is here to deny, restrict and control the animals' access to fodder.

The structures already known aim to indirectly transfer animals to their grazing or feeding lands instead of directly leading them.

As animals are directed through barriers instead of a conveyance apparatus, both the area required for operating the system will be increased, and the grazing land will be affected negatively due to the excrements created by animals and due to the crushing of grasses by the animals.

Problems Aimed to be Solved with the Invention

An aim of the invention is to provide a pasture substructure that allows controlling of both the grazing of animals and the growth of grass growing on a grazing land by moving the animals on the grazing land.

Another aim of the invention is to provide a pasture substructure that both enable animals to be well fed with green/fresh grass and also that prevents the pasture from being damaged due to overgrazing.

A further aim of the invention is to provide a pasture substructure that reduces the feeding rate of animals with instant fodders purchased from outside to the minimum and thus that both enhances animal health and meat quality and also enables the feeding cost of animals to be reduced.

In addition to these aims, another aim of the invention is to provide a pasture substructure that enables the handicaps likely to occur as a result of under or overfeeding of animals to be eliminated by allowing animal feeding to be controlled by a processor or a user.

Descriptions of the Figures

Figure 1, discloses a top schematic view of the pasture


Figure 2, discloses a top detailed view of a barn, a movable carrying platform, and a transfer path

Figure 3, discloses a view of the movable carrying platform, Figure 4, discloses another view of the movable carrying platform,

Figure 5, discloses a front sectional view of a support and movement member of the carrying platform,

Description of the Reference Numerals in the Figures

I. Movable carrying platform

2. Barn

3. Transfer path

4. Animal holding area

5. Support and movement member of the carrying platform

6. Grazing area

7. Excrement disposal area

8. Excrement stripper

9. Animal placement member

10. Movement member

II. Grazing path

Description of the Invention

The invention is related to; the pasture substructure that enables animals to be carried to allow them to graze without stepping on a grazing area (6) and that comprises a movable carrying platform (1) on which the excrements created by animals can be disposed without contacting to the grazing area (6), wherein said grazing area (6) allows animals to be fed with green and fresh grass and hay that are cultivated for animal feeding.

For feeding animals, the animals are positioned on the movable carrying platform (1) . The movable carrying platform (1) moves in a predefined distance in order to receive the required amount of grass for each animal for a predefined grazing period and thus enables the animals to graze for a desired period of time only.

This will both prevent the animal from receiving extra feed and also to protect the pasture against any deformations that may occur due to overgrazing.

As the movable carrying platform (1) moves in a predefined distance for a grazing period, animals will only be fed with the grass on a part of the grazing area (6) within this distance. The grass on the other part of the grazing area (6) can grow without any inconvenience as they are far away from all kinds of animal movement, excrements or consumption. Therefore, when the movable carrying platform (1) transports animals to these parts as well, the grass that is of desired amounts and is nutrient enough will have been raised on these parts .

With reference to Figure 1, the movable carrying platform (1) has been placed at the end of a grazing area having the form of a quadrangle. The movable carrying platform (1) is moved at a predefined distance on this area, wherein such a distance is predefined every day. During this movement, the animals that are positioned on the movable carrying platform (1) can feed themselves by eating the grass on the movement path (11) . The movable carrying platform (1) is moved at a predefined distance every day such that it can be carried to the end of the grazing area (6) . For example, if the movable carrying platform (1) reaches the end of the grazing area in 40 days, as the parts previously grazed are not used within this period of time, grass can easily grow so as to be used for grazing again .

The grazing area (6) only defines the area that animals use during grazing and also defines the part that is specialized for cultivating grass (and the similar plants used for animal feeding) thereon. A barn (2) area is also formed for keeping animals inside. Animals are kept in this area.

To transfer the animals kept in the barn (2) onto the movable carrying platform (1), the barn (2) is associated with the transfer path (3) . Similarly, the transfer path (3) is on the other hand associated with the animal holding area (4) .

According to Figure 1, the movable carrying platform (1) moves on the support and movement members (5) of the moving platform that is formed in the grazing area (6) . Therefore, contact and thus damage of the movable carrying platform (1) to the grazing area during the movement of said platform is reduced to a minimum.

According to one of the preferred embodiments of the invention, carrying platform support and movement members (5) are in the form of a rail. Accordingly, the movable carrying platform (1) has been provided with at least a movement member (10) . Said movement member (10) defines a structure having the form of a wheel that allows moving on said rail.

According to Figure 1, the carrying platform support and movement members (5) allow the grazing paths (11) to be formed where said carrying platform support and movement members are formed perpendicular to the movable carrying platform (1) on the grazing area (6) . The grazing paths (11) define the area on which at least one animal grazes with the movement of the movable carrying platform (1) throughout the entire season.

The excrements created by the animals on the movable carrying platform (1) are aimed to be carried on said platform (1) and are also aimed to be disposed onto the grazing area (6) at a minimum rate. However, as it causes health problems for the animal if extra excrements are accumulated, the movable carrying platform (1) has been provided with an excrement stripper (8) . The excrement stripper (8) scrapes and removes excrements away from the surface of the movable carrying platform (1) . The excrement collected from this part is stacked up on the excrement disposal area (7) .

In this area, the excrements collected are left to wait to generate fertilizers for the grazing area. The fertilizers to be collected from this area are introduced to the grazing area at a desired rate and mixture.

With reference to Figure 3, the movable carrying platform (1) has been provided with animal placement members (9) . These members define the clearances that enable an animal to be placed on for grazing.

The movable carrying platform (1) subject to the invention has been designed to be suitable to be moved through motorized equipment and also to be operated manually.

If the system is operated with the motorized equipment, the system can also be managed by a processor control. This processor automatically controls the movement of the movable carrying platform (1) and the system variables such as irrigation and fertilization, etc. in an effort to control growing periods of grasses.

To provide the required amount of energy for the system during a motorized control of said system, the pasture and the substructure components of said pasture can be provided with solar panels. Thus, the requirements for the energy of the system can be reduced.