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|0208 EL: Feeding dairy cows|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - Feed and Nutrition|
|Written by Elliot Block|
|Friday, 29 February 2008 17:00|
Feeding the cows is one of the most important jobs on the dairy. Much effort has gone into developing rations that meet the nutritional needs of each cow to improve performance and promote good health. Now it’s up to you to make sure ration ingredients are properly mixed and fed in a consistent, timely fashion.
Mixing the correct ingredients to create the prescribed ration is essential for a successful, productive herd. By following a few guidelines and not cutting corners, you do your part in maintaining an efficient, profitable dairy.
1. Know the ingredients.
2. Begin filling the feed mixer.
3. Ingredient order is important.
4. Proper silage bunker management.
5. Make sure feed is mixed thoroughly.
6. Look at the load before feeding.
7. Bunk management is critical.
When the bunk is clean, deliver the new feed evenly along the span of the bunk. Place the piles close enough to the cows so the feed can be easily consumed, but not so close feed goes into the stalls. Dispense the feed until the entire batch has been delivered. Check periodically to ensure that feed is accessible to the cows. Push feed closer to cows when needed.
Doing the same job the same way can seem repetitive. Keep in mind, the consistency you bring to the dairy’s feeding program delivers nutrients necessary to maintain herd health and productivity, leading to an efficient, well-run and profitable dairy operation. EL