Automated Milk Feeding Systems for Dairy Calves

Dairy heifer suckling milk from a nipple attached to an automatic milk feeding system

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Automated milk feeding (AMF) systems have been used in Europe for many years, but the usage in the US has increased in recent years. These systems allow for increased social facilitation among calves, redirection of labor from feeding to management of calves, consistency of milk delivery, and consumption of additional milk in smaller meals. Experience with …

Does TMR Sampling Provide Useful Nutrient Composition Data?

Man holding corn silage

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Laboratory data from total mixed ration (TMR) samples have potential value when evaluating consistency and accuracy of the diet that was delivered to a pen of cows including:

  1. Assessing within bunk variation in nutrient delivery. When evaluating consistency of TMR mixing and delivery, samples are taken at various locations across the bunk, analyzed for nutrients or

Feeding Practices for Dairy Cows Milked with Robotic Milking Systems

robotic milking machine

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The goal of every dairy feeding program is to develop a low cost diet that meets the nutritional requirements of cows while optimizing milk production and cow health. In most conventional herds, this is accomplished by feeding a totally mixed ration (TMR) where all the ingredients are mixed together and delivered to the cow. …

Evaluation of Dairy Manure as Fertilizer: Manure N and P Supplies for Crop Production

Corn field

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The amount of fresh manure, excluding bedding and added water, produced from dairy operations in Ohio is approximately 51 million lb/day, making dairy farms the largest manure producers among livestock operations in Ohio. Dairy cows fed typical North American diets excrete manure that contains nutrients valuable for crops, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P

Improving Corn Silage Nutritive Value Through Harvesting Practices

Corn field

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Corn silage supplies energy and physically effective fiber to high-producing dairy cows. Production of high quality corn silage reduces purchased feed costs from grain and byproduct supplements, and thus can increase profitability for dairy producers. Several harvesting practices influence fermentation and digestibility of corn silage. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review selected corn …

Feeding Lower-Starch Diets to Dairy Cattle


Man holding corn silage

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Take Home Messages

  • Fermentable carbohydrates, such as starch, sugar, and fiber provide energy for dairy cows.
  • Dairy cows do not have a starch requirement. Thus, dietary starch can be reduced successfully when economic conditions or inventories justify it.
  • A common strategy to reduce dietary starch while maintaining lactation performance is to replace starch sources (e.g. corn)

Supplemental Forage Production for Dairy Cattle


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Introduction

Short-season forages provide dairy producers an excellent opportunity to supplement forage supplies when needed during specific seasons, while adding flexibility to forage production systems. The yield and nutritive value from these forages is highly dependent on management. Warm-season or cool-season annual species can fit into a double-cropping or triple cropping system, or integrated into cropping …

Feeding Frosted Forages to Dairy Cattle

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During the fall of the year, the risk for frost poses some concerns for forages fed to dairy cattle. The damage from the frost can certainly affect the levels of dry matter (DM) and nutrients in the plants, but depending on forage type, the risks for prussic acid or nitrate poisonings may exist.

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Dairy Cattle Water Consumption Management

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Watch this video by Maegan Weatherly, PhD student at the University of Illinois, to learn about managing water for dairy cattle. She addresses areas such as cleanliness, dissolved minerals, and how best to ensure that there’s enough water available for all of your cows.

 

Feeding Fat, in Moderation, to Dairy Cows

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Introduction

Dairy cows need a tremendous amount of energy; a dairy cow weighing 1,400 lb and producing 70 lb/day of milk with 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein needs about 33 Mcal/day of net energy for lactation (NEL). Although the units are somewhat different, this is about 26 times more energy than for a person …