Winter Feed Strategies
Dry cows are often considered to be taking a break at this point in the season. However, this is not really a holiday but should be seen as a training period for the marathon they are building up to – producing maximum milk yields for their genetic potential. By paying attention to feed and health at this time, farmers can make sure milk solids production increases rapidly to peak and any metabolic issues are minimised.
Wintering cows often suffer from the out of sight out of mind scenario. Whether they are off farm or on, they need to be provided with the essential minerals that may have been depleted during milk production.
Dry cow nutrition can also influence the calf. By ensuring optimum mineral nutrition is delivered to the cow, this is then passed to the calf in colostrum and can help set the calf off to the best start. Your calves are the future of the herd and any considerations we can make to improve their management are important.
Mineralised molasses blocks provide the essential minerals needed whether wintering on pasture or brassica crops as well as supplying molasses to the cows. This helps complement the pasture offered as part of the daily ration. By increasing the energy level of the diet, the rumen microbes can work to break down the pasture more efficiently meaning the cows get more from every mouthful. The molasses delivery system ensures the often unpalatable minerals will have the flavour masked and will be taken up by the cow when she needs them.