For any dairy farmer, ensuring the health of their cows and optimising production is of the utmost importance. And while farmers engaged in dairy farming may be aware that formulating dairy cow rations is essential, knowing what factors to consider when formulating a ration can be quite overwhelming.
In this episode of Farmer’s Inside Track, sponsored by Meadow Feeds, we focus on what to look for when formulating dairy cow rations and we give you first-class insider info from Stephan Gericke, ruminant technical advisor at Meadow Feeds.
The most important factor to consider when formulating a ration is that its purpose should always be to increase the farm’s profit, Gericke points out.
If you’ve ever wondered what a balanced diet for diary cows should look like, then click play on this discussion as Gericke unpacks this and more. He also zooms in on what the minimum and maximum nutrient specifications, as well as main macronutrients are when formulating dairy cow diets.
“The first one we’ll be focusing on is protein. And there are three main components of protein to look when formulating ruminant diets. Number one is rumen degradable protein, limiting amino acids, and rumen undegradable protein.”
Explaining what dairy cows need to ensure optimum health, Gericke says there are certain nutrients that cows require in order to survive, grow, and produce.
However, often the challenge in formulating pasture-based dairy cow rations is that cows typically consume only a third of their total diet from 14 feeds in the milking parlour, he explains.
“Therefore, the ratio should be supplementary to the natural feed while providing all the essential nutrients to improve the cow’s performance.”
Gericke also unpacks the following in the episode:
- Seasonal pasture production;
- How oversupply reduces milk production; and
- Infertility issues and similar circumstances for insufficient energy, minerals, and vitamins.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
Option 2: Click here listen on any Apple device.
Option 3: Click here to listen on Google Podcast
Sign up for Farmer’s Inside Track: Join our exclusive platform for new entrants into farming and agri-business, with newsletters and podcasts.