What tools do you need as a feeder?
Feeders on any dairy farm hold an important key to the financial performance of that farm. Their work determines to what extent the formulated diet truly gets fed to the cows. We all know that unwanted deviations in feeding can have a detrimental impact on the performance of the dairy herd. Yet what simple tools do feeders have at their disposal to make mixing & feeding consistent and reliable?
Your challenge as a feeder…
The situation on any dairy changes every day. Think of changes in animal numbers, changes in dry matter content or changes in leftover from the previous feeding round, to name just a few. These daily changes need to be factored in by the feeders there and then. How?
Whatever you do, don’t guess!
If you think it is all right to guess how to cope with these daily changes, read one of the many studies that have explored how cows get fed in practice (1). The variation between the formulated versus fed rations was not acceptable(2) in 4 out of 10 rations for NDF (Neutral Detergent Fiber), 5 out of 10 rations for CP (Crude Protein) and 6 out of 10 rations for fat. And the variation between the ration fed on day 1 versus day 2 was not acceptable in 1 out of 10 rations for NDF, 2 out of 10 rations for CP and 4 out of 10 rations for fat. Yet we know that forage NDF and digestibility affect feed intake, rumen function, cow health and milk yield…
Here is what every dairy should be able to do. At MmmooOgle we believe it is critical to track and store the weights that get loaded into a mixer wagon of the various ingredients as well as their dry matter content and nutritional value. Making these daily numbers available over time simply allow feeders to assess how well (read consistently) they manage to feed the various groups of animals. And these data also enable discussing and reviewing the mixing & feeding practices between feeders or potential changes that might happen over time. MmmooOgle FeedNow! is a simple app that has proven to make the life and work of a feeder both more professional and simple.
Want to know more?
(1): N Silva del Rio et al. Degree of agreement between the ration formulated and the ration fed on seven California dairies. ADSA 2012.
(2): Coefficient of Variation larger than 5%