The concentration of NDF in forage is negatively correlated with intake, but an even stronger positive correlation is found between in vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD) and intake. High producing dairy cows consume much larger amounts of feed, which reduces the amount of time that the feed is exposed to the ruminal microbes and thus lowers the ruminal degradation of that feed. They are both 3 years old. Interestingly, in many parts of the U.S. grass hay is more expensive than alfalfa hay on a ‘per pound’ basis (and much more on a ‘per pound of protein’ basis), but provides much less protein and similar energy. There is no other forage that can consistently deliver 20% crude protein while yielding 3 to 5 tons of dry matter per acre under vigorous agronomic management. For example, 10 pounds of grass hay (the minimum a 1000 pound horse should be eating per day) contains 1.08 … Any way you look at the process of feeding cattle, knowing how much hay does a cow eat, will help you stay ahead of the demand. While some classes of beef cattle do not need high quality alfalfa hay, there is a place for using high quality, or “dairy quality”, alfalfa hay. Crude protein (CP) levels decrease as alfalfa ages, while fibrous components such as neutral and acid detergent fibers increase (Figure 1). Hi. In addition to free choice hay and whatever feed you choose, every dairy cow should have access to loose mineral and salt. Avoid the "spoiled cow syndrome" only provide them with what they need and don't let them manipulate you into feeding them more. Hi. This could be as low as 2 pounds when feeding high-quality alfalfa to as much as 10 pounds or more when using low-quality alfalfa. Just a thought! Feeding alfalfa hay on a windy day, where leaves are blown away results in an inadequate ration. �١Nw>�����m�+,���,�Z���S8g������l:-���G@Y��o�~�h����p�:f^Egt{�1 ������� ��%~��pj��4�^ƹ����E�9�:��Q<2N�QP��<9,���f��(��g~9,p���–���Y* ���J�_5�0��R>"��-0�xImҶ��F��1���pķ5c\�6u�]۷����'Α�m��\������=��XG��QBCS���D�M$�0)�}�WrK���N�?CM�2+$�Y�FXE͊؎����~I�xMRV�9����5ϰ�=n\G�����׽�k �����(���_X�:�F� v���. It depends on the cow and location, but dairy cows generally sell for $900-$3000 in our part of the country. There is no other forage that can constantly deliver 20% crude protein while producing 3 to 5 tons of dry matter per acre under energetic agronomic management. How Much Grain to Feed a Cow? As an example, if the forage were 55% TDN and lactating cows on the average weigh 1,200 pounds, then it could be estimated that t… What will be in your Christmas stocking? Most dairy farmers work with nutritionists to create a feed ration (recipe) that is best suited for their cows. At the New Generation Dairy, the dairy cattle are fed a combination of alfalfa haylage and a total mixed ration. However, forages provide other valuable nutrients such as protein and fiber. Alfalfa is recognized as one of the most nutritious forages available and is widely used as conserved forage (ex, hay, silage) in the diets of beef and dairy cattle. Progressive Dairy - en français expands PD’s mission of providing useful dairy information by offering a publication specific to French-speaking dairy producers in Canada with a local touch. Imagine what you could do with the knowledge of how much feed (in pounds) a cow or group of cows ate. It's also good to have a feed formulation software program available to you so you know exactly what to feed, how much to feed, and how it will impact your cow herd. If that stack is brown or golden, with no evidence of wellpreserved green plants, look for a supplement. Do not allow leaves to build up in the feed bunk. Last Updated: 18.12.20 Whether you’re new to raising cows or you’ve gained some experience but you still need to learn more about cattle feed and the factors to consider when it comes to the quantity and type of feed to use, this post might be of help. We think using a two-prong approach is more accurate. h��XmO#7�+�J��&��H�#G j{�|X�V�,W��{�g ����&~�����xÀ�1��ǁ; Those indices indirectly value protein because they are positively correlated with the concentration of crude protein (CP) in a forage, but the correlation is not strong and CP concentration can vary by up to 10 units within a RFQ value (see Figure 1). Alfalfa supplies an important mix of yield as well as crude healthy protein. The proven family cows cost more, while a first-calf heifer will cost less. Alfalfa pellets to boost the protein level of a diet. Her age, weight, breed, pasture, hay quality, and a mineral program will all have an impact on how much feed to give her. The concentrations of NDF, CP and NEL can be measured or estimated by labs. Once you’re satisfied with how much grain the cows eat, you can slowly up the grain level by 1.10 lbs every second day until you reach the desired ration. Forage which tests lower can be fed to those cattle which require lower amounts of nutrients relative to the high-producing dairy cow. How much is a forage worth to a dairy cow? In a dairy business, feed costs typically represent 40 to 50% of the costs of producing milk, making feed costs the largest cost category. Based on a large U.S. database, average 30- and 48-hour IVNDFD are: At typical diet costs (around 11 cents per pound of dry matter), the quality adjustment per one unit change in IVNDFD ranges between $2.40 per ton of forage dry matter (DM) (when milk is $14 per hundredweight) up to $4.86 per ton of DM when milk is $22 per hundredweight. 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