Importance Of Dairy Cattle Feeding


As simple as it looks, husbandry is not an easy business. If you are looking forward to establishing a dairy business, you will need some tips for raising and feeding cattle. The dairy cattle farming business is profitable only if you know the feeding and raising mechanism.

It’s important to know the proper manner to feed cattle. Feeding dairy cattle in a proper manner is necessary because it affects the cattle’s health and milk production. 

Dairy Cattle Feed

There are two types of dairy cattle feeds: roughages and concentrates. Roughages are high fiber feeds, and concentrates are high protein and energy feed. Napier grass, lucerne, and silage are roughages feed. Whereas maize germ, cotton seeds cakes, maize grain, and soya beans are concentrate feed.

Cattle need both roughages and concentrate feed for nutrition balance. However, cattle with protein deficiency will need more concentrated feed. You can know the health of the cattle by regular checkups.

For proper feeding, you don’t have to fully depend on these feeds. Dairy cattle can feed on good-quality grass to supply nutrition to the body. The high-quality glass contains 17% of protein and other necessary nutrients for cattle.

For some reason, farmers are not able to produce forage, so they buy it from the market. Buying feed supplements from the market is not a bad idea if it is not possible to make it a home. There are various feed supplements with different nutrient levels, so you get to choose which one suits your cattle best.

Cattle feed
Cattle feed

Frequency of Feeding Dairy Cattle

It is important how many times you feed dairy cattle. Though the frequency of feeding dairy cattle may not seem to be very important, it has an important role in the husbandry business. The frequency of feeding dairy cattle is a strategy to improve milk production and to keep cattle healthy.

Feeding cattle twice a day can increase milk production and improve the health of cattle. Also, planning dairy feeding time can improve the feed consumption of dairy cattle and will have a positive impact on their health. When dairy cattle are fed twice a day they don’t consume other unhealthy food, which decreases the chances of cattle getting sick.

Along with forage, water is also equally important in the diet of cattle. They need fresh water to keep their body hydrated. So, make sure along with feed, dairy cattle are also getting a supply of freshwater.

Dairy Cattle Feeding To Increase Milking

The main reason for raising dairy cattle is to make money out of it. So, to get maximum milk from the cow, proper management and knowledge are required. You might be doing everything necessary to get milk from the cattle, and you might be getting milk from them as well. But if you want to boost the milking of the cow, you need to be put more effort into it.

Dairy cattle feeding
Dairy cattle feeding

In order to increase the milking of the cattle, you need to provide them hay, silage, non-green grass, or fresh grass. This is because microbes found in the rumen of cattle don’t function well in any type of feed. They especially don’t work in the fibrous feed when they are not fermented.

And feed like hay and silage are fermented outside their stomach, which is easy to digestive. Therefore this type of feed will easily get digested, which increases milk production.

It would be much better if you feed them using the total mix ratio feed method. Feeding dairy cattle with a total mix ratio will not increase the milking but also boost health. The total mix ratio is a mixture of silage, hay, dairy concentrates, and grains. This mixture provides a balanced diet to dairy cattle.

Also, feeding dairy cattle with molasses will be a great help. A cow needs a lot of energy to produce milk. As molasses is a good source of energy, adding molasses to the diet of cattle can multiply milk production. You can mix molasses with hay, silage, or any other feed.

Comfort Is Necessary For Productivity

Most farmers don’t give importance to comfort. However, comfort is also very important for the health and productivity of cows. The comfort of the cow is directly related to its health and productivity. You can provide comfort to cattle by changing their environment.

Cattle like to stay in a clean environment. They prefer to stay in an area that is big enough to stand and lie down. So, make sure the cow is happy in the shed.

Cow shed
Cow Shed

The shed needs to be sanitized dairy so that cattle don’t get infected by diseases. If regularly sanitizing is not possible, the shed needs to be cleaned alternatively. Hygiene is very important while raising cattle.

And ensure you are providing all the necessary facilities in the shed. If cattle have to cover long distances to drink water, their energy will get wasted. And if they are not able to relax inside the shed, you will keep moving,  and movement of the cattle can lower their energy level.

If most of the energy is being used by cattle in other activities, they won’t be able to produce enough milk. So make sure the shed is facilitated with all the requirements.

However, that doesn’t mean the movement of the cattle should be discouraged. An unnecessary movement needs to be minimized. If you can provide water inside the shed, there is no meaning in allowing cattle to walk distance.

So, if you want to improve the productivity of dairy cattle, you need to take care of their feed, frequency of feeding, and comfort.