1. Water 2. Energy 3. Protein 4. Fibre 5. Minerals & Vitamins
50 – 80% cows body is water Milk contains 87% water Transport nutrients around body Facilitates excretion of waste products Regulates body temperature A cow needs 60-116 litres water/day
Survive (MAINTENANCE) Produce milk (PRODUCTION) Produce offspring (REPRODUCTION) Gain condition (PRODUCTION)
Cow details 650kg liveweight 40 litres/day 6 weeks calved LWT500550600650700750 Maint.596469747984 The example cow is 650kg, so she will require 74MJ/day to maintain herself. MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS
What is the cow’s maintenance requirement? How many MJ to make 1 litre of milk? REQUIREMENT = MAINTENANCE + PRODUCTION NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENT OF DAIRY COWS (2)
Gradually build up level of concentrate (21 day) Maximum feed level in parlour ◦ 10 kg cows ◦ 8 kg heifers If higher feed levels are required consider ◦ Mid day feeds ◦ Out of parlour feeders ◦ Complete diet feeding (TMR)
Advantages Less digestive upsets Cheaper blend vs nut Low cost – no equipment needed Disadvantages Feed Space Labour Cows bullying
Advantages Uniform diet Optimum rumen efficiency Encourages high intake Flexibility – alternative feeds Disadvantages Capital cost Complicated diets Over mixing Under/overfeeding Suitable housing
Offer adequate fresh forage Allow 5-10% refusal Ensure adequate feed space (450 – 600 mm/cow) Provide clean and adequate water Troughs should allow 10% of herd to drink at any one time or 100 mm/cow
Assessment of cow fat reserves based on visual assessment and handling. Gives subjective assessment of thin and fat cows regardless of frame size or breed. Based on scale of 1-5 (1=extremely thin, 5=extremely fat) with increments of 0.5.
Two main areas for assessment: 2.Loin 1.Tailhead
Tailhead Loin Shallow fat-lined cavity felt at taihead. Fatty tissue felt under the skin. Pelvis felt easily. Ends of transverse processes feel well rounded and upper surfaces padded with fat. Depression visible in loin.