Feeding management

Reduce feed costs to optimize returns

Published: 3/17/2011 0 comment 7/27/2021

Feeding programs that minimize costs while meeting the dairy cow’s nutritional needs are basic to attaining the cow’s genetic potential to produce milk. Furthermore, those diets must optimize the health and reproductive performance of cows. In addition, these rations are formulated for the environment (to meet the nitrogen and phosphorus needs of the cow) without feeding them excess amounts. These days, achieving these goals, which do not result in immediate financial rewards, is a tall task.

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Transition cows

Optimizing the transition cow management system on commercial dairy farms

Published: 5/17/2006 Written by: Thomas R. Overton

Two group feeding systems are recommended during traditional length (60 days) dry periods to best meet the cow's nutritional needs Maximizing dry matter intake in the dry period is important; however, careful attention to various nutrients is required to prevent dramatic drops in intake just prior to calving. As shortened dry periods (30-45 days) become more common, single group feeding programs may be necessary.

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Behavior and feeding

Understanding cow behavior may change the way we feed lactating cows

Published: 2/28/2007 Written by: Trevor DeVries J. M. Huzzey M.A.G. von Keyserlingk

Traditionally, animal nutrition has focused almost exclusively on the nutrient aspects of the diet, but has failed to consider how animal behavior may affect the animals’ access to food. In this paper the authors describe the factors that control the feeding behavior patterns of group-housed dairy cows. They also review studies showing how feeding management and the design of the feeding environment can be altered in ways that allow for increased access to feed for all animals.

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Feed efficiency

Should feed efficiency be used in dairy benchmarking?

Published: 7/13/2004 Written by: Jeffrey Bewley

Benchmarking has become a targeted management tool. Feed efficiency is one factor that is important to benchmark.

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Transition cows

Managing the postpartum cow to maximize pregnancy rates

Published: 10/26/2006 Written by: Carlos Risco

Pregnancy rate is a key determinant of farm productivity and profitability High pregnancy rates depend on a rapid return of normal reproductive function after calving. Both energy status and blood calcium levels impact ovarian and uterine function

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Tools & Guides on Nutrition