Nutrition and Feed Management

Information and tools to assist in managing dairy cattle nutrition and feed management, including resources on forage, silage, pasture, and water needs. Tips on monitoring heifer growth and weaning strategies for heifers and calves.

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Photo credit: Jill Kopfer
Economics and Effects of Accelerated Calf Growth Programs - Articles Articles
Increasing heifer growth rates, regardless of the feeding strategy, improves the odds of earlier age at calving, which can dramatically lower heifer costs. More
Feeding in Robotic Milking Systems
Feeding in Robotic Milking Systems - News News
A look at feeding management in Pennsylvania robot herds. More
CalfTrack Calf Management System
CalfTrack Calf Management System - Articles Articles

CalfTrack Calf Management System

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones

CalfTrack is a comprehensive program to train employees that are responsible for calf care. More
How Efficient Are Your Calves?
How Efficient Are Your Calves? - Articles Articles
Feeding more milk replacer to calves can increase average daily gain, but can reduce starter intake and lower nitrogen efficiency and postweaning digestion. More
Using a Colostrometer
Using a Colostrometer - Videos Videos

Using a Colostrometer

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones, Sonia Arnold


Demonstration of using a colostrometer to estimate IgG content in colostrum. More
Using a Brix Refractometer
Using a Brix Refractometer - Videos Videos

Using a Brix Refractometer

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones, Sonia Arnold


Learn how to use optical and digital Brix refractometers to determine how much IgG colostrum contains. More
Partially chopped field of corn for silage
Spreadsheet to Price Standing Corn for Silage - Tools and Apps Tools and Apps

Spreadsheet to Price Standing Corn for Silage

Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler, Robert C. Goodling, Jr., Gregory W. Roth, Ph.D., Paul Craig, Douglas Beegle, Ph.D., Ken Griswold

Use this spreadsheet to price your standing corn for silage. More
Figure 1. Conversion of glucose to acetate. Source: "Digestion: The Fermentative Processes"
Ionophores: A Technology to Improve Cattle Efficiency - Articles Articles
This article explains how the use of ionophores--antibiotics that shift ruminal fermentation patterns--can improve cattle production efficiency. More
TMR Mix Sheet Spreadsheet
TMR Mix Sheet Spreadsheet - Tools and Apps Tools and Apps

TMR Mix Sheet Spreadsheet

Timothy Beck, Virginia A. Ishler

The Penn State TMR spreadsheet allows the user to create rations, mix sheets, batch size and feed costs for up to nine rations for the whole herd. More
Metabolic Profiling
Metabolic Profiling - Articles Articles
A "metabolic profile" is a series of specific analytical tests run in combination and used as a herd-based, rather than individual-based, diagnostic aid. More
Photo credit: Amber Yutzy
Nitrate Calculator Spreadsheet - Tools and Apps Tools and Apps
Automates calculation of nitrate intake from feed and water, suggests ways to limit nitrate intake, and converts expressions of nitrate concentration. More
Feed Value Calculator spreadsheet Feed Value Calculator spreadsheet - Tools and Apps
Calculates value of forages and concentrates using Petersen's constants; based on the price of corn, soybean meal, and average quality alfalfa hay. Feed values can then be compared to market prices. More
Dairy Heifer Diet Formulator - Spreadsheet
Dairy Heifer Diet Formulator - Spreadsheet - Tools and Apps Tools and Apps

Dairy Heifer Diet Formulator - Spreadsheet

Jud Heinrichs, Lucas Mitchell

Choose feeds from the library or enter the composition of feeds on your farm, then balance a diet to meet a targeted growth rate. More
Compared to testing at room temperature, warm colostrum underestimates colostrum IgG and cold colostrum overestimates IgG.
Colostrometer Adjustment Spreadsheet - Tools and Apps Tools and Apps

Colostrometer Adjustment Spreadsheet

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Adjust readings from a colostrometer to provide the value expected if colostrum was tested at 68°F. More
Feed Management and Delivery Feed Management and Delivery - Articles

Feed Management and Delivery

Robert J. Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD, Ernest Hovingh, DVM, PhD

A checklist to determine the relative biosecurity risk of feed management and delivery in dairy herds. More