Nutrition and Feeding

Information and tools to assist in managing dairy cattle nutrition and feeding, 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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Carbohydrate Nutrition for Lactating Dairy Cattle
Carbohydrate Nutrition for Lactating Dairy Cattle - Articles Articles

Carbohydrate Nutrition for Lactating Dairy Cattle

Virginia A. Ishler, Gabriella A. Varga

This article examines limitations of lab methods predicting forage quality, components of the carbohydrate portion of feeds, and effects of management on carbohydrate nutrition. More
Nitrogen, Ammonia Emissions and the Dairy Cow
Nitrogen, Ammonia Emissions and the Dairy Cow - Articles Articles
This article explains how nitrogen fed to cows contributes to ammonia emissions and explores feeding strategies to reduce excess nitrogen in the diet. More
Carbon, Methane Emissions and the Dairy Cow
Carbon, Methane Emissions and the Dairy Cow - Articles Articles
Methane contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but some dietary practices reduce methane production, including ionophores, fats, high quality forages, and increased grain. More
Feed Efficiency in Lactating Cows and Relationship to Income Over Feed Costs
Feed Efficiency in Lactating Cows and Relationship to Income Over Feed Costs - Articles Articles

Feed Efficiency in Lactating Cows and Relationship to Income Over Feed Costs

Jud Heinrichs, Virginia A. Ishler, Daryl Maulfair

Feed efficiency measures the relative ability of cows to turn feed nutrients into milk or milk components. In the simplest terms it is the pounds of milk produced per pound of dry matter consumed. More
Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cows
Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cows - Articles Articles

Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cows

Jud Heinrichs, Alanna Kmicikewycz

Total mixed rations help dairy cows achieve maximum performance and are the most common method for feeding high producing, indoor-housed dairy cows in the world. More
Table: Comparison of Commercial Electrolyte Products
Table: Comparison of Commercial Electrolyte Products - Articles Articles
Summary of selected nutrients in commercial oral rehydration products. Table assumes products are mixed with water according the manufacturer's directions. More
Colostrum Supplements and Replacer
Colostrum Supplements and Replacer - Articles Articles

Colostrum Supplements and Replacer

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Colostrum products can be valuable tools to increase calf immunity. This article describes the composition and effectiveness of colostrum supplements and replacers. More
Feeding Low Protein Diets to Dairy Cows
Feeding Low Protein Diets to Dairy Cows - Articles Articles

Feeding Low Protein Diets to Dairy Cows

Alexander Nikolov Hristov, Ph.D., Fabio Giallongo

Discussion of benefits to feeding diets with lowered protein content while meeting true animal requirements for metabolizable protein. More
Using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator Spreadsheet
Using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator Spreadsheet - Articles Articles

Using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator Spreadsheet

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs, Bob James, Chase Scott

Instructions for using the Calf Milk Pasteurization Evaluator spreadsheet, interpreting its output, and estimating waste milk supply and demand. More
Electrolytes for Dairy Calves
Electrolytes for Dairy Calves - Articles Articles

Electrolytes for Dairy Calves

Jud Heinrichs, Sylvia Kehoe

Topics include causes of scouring, treatment strategies, calculating fluid needs, and recommended electrolyte composition. More
Colostrum Management Tools: Hydrometers and Refractometers
Colostrum Management Tools: Hydrometers and Refractometers - Articles Articles
This publication describes the use of the Colostrometer and the Brix refractometer in managing colostrum on the farm. More
Early Weaning Strategies
Early Weaning Strategies - Articles Articles

Early Weaning Strategies

Coleen M. Jones, Jud Heinrichs

Recommendations for weaning criteria, strategies for successful weaning, and feed and growth from weaning to 6 months. 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
Body Condition Scoring as a Tool for Dairy Herd Management
Body Condition Scoring as a Tool for Dairy Herd Management - Articles Articles

Body Condition Scoring as a Tool for Dairy Herd Management

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones, Virginia A. Ishler

Body condition scoring evaluates fatness or thinness according to a five-point scale and scores are used to fine-tune dairy nutrition and health. More
In Vivo Digestibility of Forages
In Vivo Digestibility of Forages - Articles Articles

In Vivo Digestibility of Forages

Gabriella A. Varga

Discussion of factors affecting forage fiber digestion in dairy cows and influences of fiber digestibility on performance. More
Free Choice Feeding of Phosphorus Containing Minerals
Free Choice Feeding of Phosphorus Containing Minerals - Articles Articles
Environmental concerns have forced the animal industry to re-evaluate phosphorus levels formulated in diets to avoid excess intake and excretion. More
Using Manure Evaluation to Enhance Dairy Cattle Nutrition
Using Manure Evaluation to Enhance Dairy Cattle Nutrition - Articles Articles

Using Manure Evaluation to Enhance Dairy Cattle Nutrition

Jud Heinrichs, Gabriella A. Varga, Paul Kononoff

Evaluating the feces or manure can provide information about general health, rumen fermentation, and digestive function of cows. More
Troubleshooting Problems with Low Milk Production
Troubleshooting Problems with Low Milk Production - Articles Articles

Troubleshooting Problems with Low Milk Production

Virginia A. Ishler, Richard S. Adams, Larry J. Hutchinson

Topics include expected production, low peaks, failure to bag and produce ample milk, excessive decline in milk production and short lactations. More
Trouble-shooting Milk Fever and Downer Cow Problems
Trouble-shooting Milk Fever and Downer Cow Problems - Articles Articles

Trouble-shooting Milk Fever and Downer Cow Problems

Virginia A. Ishler, Richard S. Adams, Dale Moore

Topics include possible causes, symptoms and problem situations, forms of milk fever, blood parameters, control suggestions and dietary cation-anion balance. More
Troubleshooting Milk Flavor Problems
Troubleshooting Milk Flavor Problems - Articles Articles

Troubleshooting Milk Flavor Problems

Virginia A. Ishler, Robert F. Roberts, Ph.D.

Producing a high quality food product begins at the farm level, and prevention is the only way to assure milk is of good quality and flavor. More
Opportunities and Challenges of Feeding Distillers Grains
Opportunities and Challenges of Feeding Distillers Grains - Articles Articles
A review of feeding distillers grains to lactating dairy cows and challenges that may arise due to their use. More
Therapeutic Nutrition for Dairy Cattle
Therapeutic Nutrition for Dairy Cattle - Articles Articles

Therapeutic Nutrition for Dairy Cattle

Virginia A. Ishler, Michael O'Connor, Larry Hutchinson

Proper nutrition can minimize the incidence or help control metabolic, infectious, and reproductive disorders in a dairy herd. More
Photo credit: Cassie Yost
Feed Efficiency in Dairy Heifers - Articles Articles

Feed Efficiency in Dairy Heifers

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones, Xavier Suarez

Discussion of ways to improve feed efficiency in dairy heifers. More
Penn State Particle Separator
Penn State Particle Separator - Articles Articles

Penn State Particle Separator

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones

The Forage and TMR Particle Separator was designed to help in determining the correct forage particle length needed to improve ruminant nutrition. More
Photos of Rumen Development
Photos of Rumen Development - Articles Articles

Photos of Rumen Development

Jud Heinrichs, Coleen M. Jones

This series of photos illustrates the process of rumen development in dairy calves. More