Maxed Out On Quota?

Maxi Breeder - The 'Nutritional Solution' for your herd this Spring

Milk quota is a constraint on the majority of dairy farms and we in Bretts want to help you to feed your herd in this scenario while minimising the long-term effects in terms of total milk production and more importantly fertility.

We are adamant that reducing the level of meal feeding to very low levels is not the best option. This is not just because we wish to sell more feed but because the effects of this regime are long lasting on reproductive performance and also in terms of milk supply, especially in heifers that you want to milk well beyond April 2015 ! Indeed we have seen the negative long term effects previously where quota restraints led to reduced feeding levels.

 Dropping meal feeding levels excessively is a damage limitation exercise – it will certainly lead to a drop in milk supply between now and the end of March but it also hits milk supply for the total lactation and lifetime performance of the cow and unfortunately it will have a detrimental effect on cow body condition, leading to fertility problems. Only in exceptional cases would we recommend that a farmer feeds less than 4-5 kgs of meal in early lactation, grass supply needs to be excellent combined with careful monitoring of body condition loss.

Our aim is to design a diet to ensure that the cow maintains a high energy intake but the key factor is reducing the total level of dietary protein in the diet, thus limiting her milk supply below her genetic ability. This approach involves the following combination:

  • Drop the level of dietary protein in the concentrate from a typical 18% to a 14% when grass is included in the diet
  • Do not feed less than 4.5 kgs/cow/day in the first 6 weeks of lactation. Feeding less than this will lead to excessive body weight loss and further problems at breeding
  • Irrespective of grass supply you must maintain at least 3 kgs DM/cow/day of a lower protein feed in the diet Eg. Grass silage/wholecrop/maize silage/straw combination. If fodder is scarce use Soya Hulls. Spring grass is naturally high in protein and this will force cows to milk excessively by utilising their own body reserves, therefore this protein must be ‘diluted’ with a silage and/or straw/soya hulls

To assist our clients in feeding their herd in such circumstances Bretts Maxi Breeder cube will reduce milk supply between now and the end of the quota year and if the guidelines are adhered to it will bodyweight loss in cows will be minimised, which will positively assist with cow fertility later in the spring.

 

MAXI BREEDER DAIRY CUBE - The feed for herds maxed out on quota

Brief Description: A low protein (14%) energy dense cube (11.2 MJ/kg as fed; UFL 0.95) specifically formulated for feeding to cows in early lactation on spring grass. Fed in conjunction with grass and another lower protein forage (Eg. grass silage, wholecrop, maize silage or straw or any combination of these) this feed is ideal if you are trying to manage early lactation cows in a tight quota regime. A feeding rate of 8 lbs/3.5 kgs provides recommended guide of 2 oz (57 grams) of Cal Mag as an aid to prevention of grass tetany.

  • Contains a high level of Maize and native cereals and digestible fibres– High energy is vital to maintain cow body condition in early lactation. Recommended feed level is a minimum of 4.5Kgs depending on forage quality, grass supply, grazing conditions and cow body condition.
  • Protein content of 14% - The reduction in protein helps to stem milk production while at the same time helping to prevent the cow from utilising her own body reserves to fuel milk production.
  • Includes our unique Perfromance Improvement Pack (PIP). This provides Protected Minerals (Copper, Zinc) & Selenium as Sel-plex combined with Biotin as an aid to good herd health reducing the incidences of SCC, mastitis, lameness. It also improves fertility where trace mineral deficiencies have been identified. This feed also includes a rumen buffer as an aid in the prevention of acidosis, a metabolic disorder that may be linked to low butterfats.

Example Diet Comparisons

Click Here to view our Spring 2014 Newsletter in PDF Format

 

 

 

Contact details

Brett Brothers Ltd.,
Callan,
Co. Kilkenny.
Tel: 056-7755300
Email: enquiries@brettbrothers.ie

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