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Comparison between ‘Total Mixed Ration’ and separate combi-corm feeding

Schermafbeelding 2013-02-05 om 20.42.29

Maximum dry matter intake in period 1 (dry period) = 10 kg
Maximum dry matter intake in period 2 (after calving, start lactation) = 21 kg
Maximum dry matter intake in period 3 (mid lactation) = 18 kg
Maximum dry matter intake in period 4 (end lactation, before drying off) = 15 kg

• Milk production from roughage only is 0 to 5 litres.
Milk production from Combi-Corm is 2 litres milk from 1 kg Combi- Corm

• 30% of the dry matter intake of a cow should consist of roughage.
(Beets and potatoes are not roughage; they belong to the 70% low structure feeds like the Combi-Corm)

• Feed no more than 2 kg of Combi-Corm in one feeding.
(3 kg is still possible; 4 kg makes the cow sick; so if you feed 2 kg there is still some room for error)

• Difficult period in feeding is period 2. In this period the dry matter intake of the cow has to be increased from 10 kg to 21 kg in order to get good milk production. The amount of Combi- Corm given should be increased with 1 kg per day. Balancing the diet in this period is difficult without the use of a feeder mixer wagon with weighing equipment. It can be done using Feeding system 1 (see belowe).
It is easier when you have such a feeder mixer wagon available. See belowe, Feeding system 2.

Feeding system 1, Roughage + Combi-Corm; No feeder mixer wagon available.

• Make 5 feeding groups;

o Group 1(period 1): dried-off cows
o Group 2 (period 2): cows producing more than 26 litres of milk/day + cows in the first two months after calving,
o Group 3 (period 3): cows producing between 22 and 26 litres
o Group 4 (period 4): cows producing between 18 and 22 litres
o Group 5 (period 4): cows producing below 18 litres

• Feeding schedule:

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Roughage Ad lib* Ad lib Ad lib Ad lib Ad lib
Combi- Corm 1 kg 14 kg**, *** 12 kg 10 kg 8 kg

* = As much as the cows will eat

** = Increase from 1 to 14 kg after calving only with 1 kg per day

***= No more than 2 kg of Combi- Corm in one feeding;
(So 14 kg is 7 feedings of 2 kg, spread out well over the day)

Feeding system 2-TMR system-, Roughage + Combi-Corm; Feeder mixer wagon (with weighing equipment) available.

• Make 5 feeding groups;

o Group 1(period 1): dried-off cows
o Group 2 (period 2): cows producing more than 26 litres of milk/day + cows in the first two months after calving,
o Group 3 (period 3): cows producing between 22 and 26 litres
o Group 4 (period 4): cows producing between 18 and 22 litres
o Group 5 (period 4): cows producing below 18 litres

• Feeding schedule:
Prepare the feed mix for each group according to the following schedule.
The quantities are given for average feed intake per day per cow,

On Dry Matter basis

D.M. Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Roughage 9 kg 7 kg 6 5 6
Combi-Corm 1 kg 14 kg 12 kg 10 kg 8 kg
Ratio roughage/combi- Corm 90 % 33 % 33 % 33% 42 %

 

Notice that the mix for group 2, 3 and 4 is the same (ratio roughage/combi- Corm); only the amount of feedstuff eaten differs.

In practice this means that before calving the cows can eat as much as they want from the low energy mix, after calving as much as they want from the high energy mix until the milk production drops and the cows gain weight. From that moment the cows receive as much as they want from the middle energy mix until they are dried off. Than the cows switch to the low energy mix again.

In this system the critical point is when to switch the cows from the high energy to the middle energy mix.
(Body condition scoring).