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The keeping of cattle is related to the characteristics of the animals. Those who keep cows often ask questions about what to feed them, what elements must be included in the diet. Animals that receive a balanced diet, give high-quality milk, are not susceptible to infection, and are resistant to various types of epidemics. The habit of planning the diet in advance and purchasing feed will become the key to a successful farm for a novice farmer.
What can you feed your cows
The maintenance of cattle assumes the use of a variety of feeds in the preparation of the diet. So that animals do not experience hunger, it is necessary to stock up on grain and hay. Youngsters are given an increased amount of silage, crushed and concentrates are added. All feeds are calculated on average, with a certain amount of contingency margin.
Diet of cows depending on the season
The feed calculation is influenced by the current season. The seasonality of cow walking affects the diet. In the summer, keeping livestock is much more profitable, but at the same time, the warm season is used to prepare fodder for the winter.
Feeding in winter
When planning winter nutrition, cows are guided by the formula: in winter, 5 kilograms of feed are needed for every 100 kilograms of an animal.
|Feed type||Daily rate (kilogram)|
|Straw||from 5 to 12|
No matter how much a cow eats, she needs a daily drink. Active animals receive up to 35 liters of water daily. Drinking water should be clean and warm. Drinkers intended for drinking are cleaned daily, weekly they do a more thorough cleaning.
In summer, the diet changes, due to walking on pastures, feeding becomes not fully rationed.
|Feed type||Rate per day (kilogram)|
In summer, farmers recommend giving animals access to drink and lick salt. While walking, the cows receive the necessary juicy feed, therefore they do not need additional provision with vegetables and silage.
Pasture keeping allows you to save on feed in summer, since access to fresh grass contributes to the complete saturation of the animal.
Feeding depending on the purpose
The average values for ration planning vary depending on the purpose for which the cow is fed. There are several types of content:
- For the purpose of obtaining meat. This means that the cows must be well-fed.
- For milk yield. Milk-producing cows are kept under special conditions and need nutrition that improves the quality of milk.
- During the dry period, that is, the period when the cow is preparing for calving.
Each period assumes a special organization of food. Cows need to get minerals and vitamins before calving, and animals for meat need to build muscle.
To get milk
The diet of dairy cows differs from the diet for cattle that does not produce milk. Cash cows have a calm disposition, they do not move too much, they chew a lot of hay, and prefer to rest in partial shade on pastures. The task of the farmer when planning to increase milk yield is to formulate a diet that has a milk-producing effect.
One cow can consume up to 100 kilograms of fresh grass daily, but at the same time will provide up to 25 liters of milk. Ingredients that include in the diet of a dairy cow:
- high quality vegetable feed;
- animal-type additives;
- concentrated feed;
- vitamin and mineral supplements.
Diet for a cow that provides 20 liters of milk yield:
- hay - 12 kilograms;
- silo - 1 kilogram;
- vegetables - from 8 kilograms;
- bread crumbs - 2 kilograms;
- salt - 100 grams.
Information! During milking, energy feed is added to the diet.
To get meat
Meat breeds of bulls are fattened for meat according to one of the options:
- The traditional option is up to the age of 1.5 years. This is a short period, which involves feeding cattle with high-calorie feed with the addition of bread, boiled vegetables, and vitamin complexes.
- Medium - up to 6 months. Overfeeding with added protein.
- Accelerated - up to 8 months. Moderate feeding of specially selected breeds. This case assumes that by the end of the feeding period the animal will weigh about 500 kilograms.
For feeding beef breeds, feed vegetables are included. They are cut into medium-sized pieces, washed thoroughly, and some types of vegetables are steamed. Small pieces or too coarse pieces can provoke indigestion and the absence of the ruminant reflex, which is important for the digestion process.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
The beef goby should be given 3 times more water than usual. Warm water is left freely available throughout the day, and the next day the drinker is changed to clean and filled with water.
Bychkov are traditionally sent for slaughter when they reach the age of 1.5 years, but if necessary, the dates are shifted and alternative feeding schemes are used.
During the dry period
The dry period is the period that lasts from start-up to calving. Pregnancy in cows lasts 285 days, so the diet should be prepared with great care. At home, it is recommended to approximately calculate the norms and correlate them with the weight and milk yield of the cow:
For a cow weighing 400 kilograms you will need:
- 6.8 kilograms of main feed;
- 9 kilograms of hay;
- 1 kilogram of protein;
- 2.3 kilograms of raw vegetables;
- 500 grams of sugar;
- 100 grams of salt.
On farms, the calculation is carried out in accordance with the amount of lactation. For example, if the female had 3 lactations, then another 2 kilograms of the main feed are added to the diet.
14 days before the expected calving, the diet is changed in accordance with the following recommendations:
- Corn silage and haylage are reduced in relation to the increase in cereal hay.
- Cows are given root crops, concentrates, wheat bran. For highly productive breeds, the amount of wheat bran should be at least 1 percent of the total daily value.
- The daily intake of chalk and salt is kept in check.
- The characteristics of fat and carbohydrate intake are being revised. Easily assimilated elements lead to the accumulation of acetone in the blood, so the type of feed should be changed.
Information! For the animal during the dry period, three meals are recommended.
Highly productive breeds
Highly productive breeds are distinguished by the fact that they have an accelerated metabolism. To maintain a good level of metabolic processes, the diet consists of the following elements:
- 25 percent vitamins and minerals;
- 25 percent protein
- 50 percent fats, carbohydrates, different types of nutrients.
The basis of the daily diet is hay, silage, fresh grass. Beets and potatoes are added to these components. The crusher is given weekly, calculated according to the weight of the animal.
To increase milk yield
Milk is the main product that is obtained from dairy breeds. Lactation, as a physiological process, is mobile, an increase in productivity can be predicted and planned. Feeding charts help calculate costs and planned milk yield.
Characteristics of a plan designed to increase milk yield:
- the daily rate is from 50 to 80 kilograms of feed;
- inclusion of barley, wheat, cake, beets, silage, hay, grass;
- dry food is 3.5 percent of live weight;
- juicy feed is added according to the formula: 6 kilograms of feed per 100 kilograms of live weight;
- adding concentrates at the rate of 100 grams per 1 liter of milk;
- three meals a day.
For the formation of 1 liter of milk at milk yield, a cow needs 4 to 6 liters of liquid daily, so free access to water is an important component of the scheme, which involves working to increase milk yield.
To increase productivity, it is recommended to use special feed additives. They are prepared on the basis of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. The additives help to increase milk yield, while increasing the quality of the resulting milk.
In addition to feed additives, special probiotics are used, which are responsible for the digestion processes and the state of the animal's gastrointestinal tract. In addition, maintaining a stable milking schedule is important. This means that the cow must be milked at the same time every day. The stress that occurs when the animal reflexively begins to expect to be milked can reduce the highest rates.
Reference! Increasing the amount of fluid you drink per day increases milk yield by 7 percent without the addition of other ingredients.
For cows after calving
Calving cows need a balanced diet. Due to the fact that they have lost a lot of energy, animals feel the need to get saturated feed. After calving, it is recommended to increase the concentration of concentrates to 45 percent of the total norm.
There should be enough food for the animal's body to recover, while milk production and the establishment of lactation occur.
Bread leftovers are added to the traditional menu, crushed, vitamin and mineral supplements are added. Feeding is organized from the first day, but it is done gradually so as not to provoke disturbances. Rules for catering:
- After half an hour, the cow is given warm water and high-quality hay in unlimited quantities during the calving process. The cow is milked up to 6 times during the day, during which the calving took place.
- For the next 48 hours, food is organized from water and talkers. Chatterbox is a mixture of warm water and wheat bran.
- From the third day they do not give a talker. It is replaced with a mixture of oats, bran, and flaxseed meal. In one day, the amount of the mixture is increased to 15 kilograms.
- The amount of compound feed is gradually increased to 2 kilograms. Juicy feed is gradually introduced, silage and vegetables are added.
The gradual adjustment of nutrition helps to avoid various disorders of the cow's gastrointestinal tract. Milk yield should increase automatically in three days. If this does not happen, then the amount of grain feed consumed should be reduced.
Veterinarians and experienced breeders say that after calving, each animal needs an individual approach that will help to find out which feed the cow consumes with pleasure and which one she refuses. During the milking period, adjustments should be made to the preferences of the animal in the diet plan.