Researchers at LIC analysed dairy heifer data and discovered that the majority of young stock were failing to meet industry liveweight targets. In fact, at 22 months they were on average 11% below target. This will affect their chances of getting in calf and their milk production.
Supplying adequate amounts of good-quality forage can be problematic at certain times of the year, but ensuring the rumen microflora is functioning at its peak will help your stock to make the most of available supplies. A well-functioning rumen is particularly important when young stock make the transition to pasture.
So what do the microorganisms in the rumen require to thrive? They need:
- a supply of cellulose (a component of feed dry matter)
- rumen degradable protein
- a source of energy
- vitamins and minerals