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Feed & Nutrition

Learn about all aspects of the dairy cow ration, from harvest to storage and balancing additives to forage supplementation.

LATEST

Fresh cows are the most vulnerable animals in your operation. Giving them a good start after calving profoundly impacts both short-term and long-term herd profits.

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Last spring, a trial at Cornell University tested a calcium binder’s efficiency at averting the drop in blood calcium levels at calving and preventing hypocalcemia.

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Dairy farmers might be overfeeding a large proportion of lactating cows when the same ration is fed to a large group of animals. Diets are normally formulated to provide enough nutrients to the most productive animals, but may result in giving extra nutrients to less productive individuals due to inefficient nutrient utilization.

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Cows crave consistency. Milking time, udder prep, feed delivery, animal care and handling, reproduction and the nutrients delivered in the ration should be the same day in and day out.

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Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and provide technical support to numerous dairies here in the U.S. and internationally. One of the most common questions asked pertains to feeding fats, fat sources and the hoped-for effects on milk volume, components and reproduction.

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Forage and fiber in the diets of dairy cows is critical for their optimal health and milk production. How the fiber in forages ferments, digests and is metabolized is an ongoing subject of discussion and research.

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