Dairy Cattle Nutrition
Dairy nutrition is essentially as simple as understanding the nutrient requirements of dairy cows at various stages of lactation and combining various feed ingredients to meet those needs in a cost-effective manner. However, many dynamic factors influence both nutrient requirements and nutrient availability from feeds. In addition, successful feeding of dairy cows requires accurate mixing and delivery of rations so that the diet fed is the same as the diet formulated.
Forages are the foundation of diets for ruminant animals, and a focus on quality forage is essential to productivity and profitability of dairy farms.
Successful dairy operations recognize heifers as an important investment in the future of the business. They place high value on the care of their heifers throughout the rearing period, knowing that daily management decisions relating to heifers can compound to have great impacts on current and future farm profitability in the form of hidden expenses and lost future productivity. Overall, the goal of a replacement heifer program is to produce quality heifers with the highest potential to be productive and profitable while minimizing costs to the farm and the environment.
Calf health, growth, and productivity rely heavily on nutrition and management practices. Every heifer calf born on a dairy farm represents an opportunity to maintain or increase herd size, to improve the herd genetically, or to improve economic returns to the farm. The objectives of raising the newborn calf to weaning age are optimizing growth and minimizing health problems.
The annual Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop is designed to provide continuing education for feed industry professionals and nutritional consultants.
Dairy cattle image galleries including cows, calves, feeding and pasture scenes.