Feeding dairy cows for maximum production-find out how, now!

How to feed dairy cows for high milk production


Do you know Feeding dairy cows for maximum production depends purely on which stage the lactating cow is in?

A dairy cow has four production stages, and milk production changes with the stage. Early, mid, late, and dry stages all can be represented in a simple sigmoid calve.

Stage 1: From calving to peak milk production (1-70day)

This is the only stage a farmer can make a profit in his farming as milk production is directly proportional to feeding. Feed with a total mixed ration high in proteins and energy feeds. Mineral salts high in calcium should be added to the ration.

The high-yield Dairy meal is used at this stage as it has a high crude protein content of up to 18% compared to the standard dairy meal with 12-14% crude protein content.

If the animal is appropriately fed at this stage, the animal can come into heat within 100 days and a calving interval of one year (365 days)

It is at this stage only that Feeding dairy cows for maximum production can be done for high profits.

Feeding dairy cows for maximum production-find out how, now!
Production graph source: Cow site
Stage 2: Mid-lactation (71-150 days)

In this stage, milk production is constant, and the increase in inputs does not reflect milk production. It is the peak, and production is optimal. Farmers should be keen on maintaining costs low to break even and avoid losses.

Maintain the exact quantities of high-quality feeds, clean water, and mineral salts.

Feed on concentrates high on digestible fibre rather than starch. The ration should have at least 15-18% crude protein.

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Stage 3: late lactation (151-305day)

The animal is two months in calve, and the milk starts to decline gradually to zero at three hundredth day (7 months in calve).

Re-adjust the ration to reduce proteins and cost. Regardless of the number of feeds increased, milk production continues to decline.

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Stage 4: Dry stage (305-365 days)

There is zero milk production at this stage, and any efforts to increase milk production can lead to milk fever after calving down, underweight calve, and reduced milk production at stage 1.

Even if the animal has milk, it is mandatory to stop milking, but consult a veterinarian on the best drying techniques to avoid mastitis. Feed more high-energy feeds and mineral salts too to avoid milk fever after calving down.

Steaming up

It is preparing the animal’s body for increased milk production at stage 1. It is usually the last three weeks to calve down.

Introduce feeds with protein (High-quality High yield Dairy meal) and increase the quantity gradually from 1kg to 5 kg per day, increasing after calving down. Mineral salts and calcium supplements should also be fed to prevent milk fever after calving down.

It is good to note that these results are dependent on:

  • Feeding high-quality feeds (25% concentrates,70% forages, 4 % clean water,1% mineral salts). The risk of feeding low-quality feeds with aflatoxin and other impurities have led to a sharp decline in milk production at the first stage, not to mention hardware diseases.
  • General farm management and quality insemination.
  • Even though the genetics of a cow influence its production, 90% is management.

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