Success in dairy farming requires excellent management skills to produce healthy, nutritious milk. Like most Canadian dairy farmers, you already know that your overall success relies upon your ability to micro-manage every expense, including the inputs required by each cow. One way to improve the input management for your dairy herd is to consider switching from traditional feeding programs to a total mixed ration, commonly known as a TMR.
Maximum Nutrition in One Palatable Feed
Feeding hay, grain, and other supplements separately to your herd takes time, as well as space to store large quantities of each specific feed. Even worse, this type of system can lead to erratic consumption patterns if each cow is not provided the proper amounts of each feed. Since milk production is largely based upon the quantity and quality of the feed consumed by each cow, erratic consumption levels can cause significant drops in milk production levels and severely affect the farmer’s profit margins and the cow’s health and longevity.
By switching to a feeding program based upon a total mixed ration, dairy farmers can provide each cow with the complete nutrition needed to maximize milk production. Because the ration includes all the inputs each cow needs, labor and storage costs are reduced as well.
Making TMR Feeding Programs Work for Both the Cows and the Farmer
Feeding programs based on a TMR require carefully measured amounts of each ingredient to ensure that each cow receives the proper levels of nutrition and energy from her diet to remain healthy and maximize her milk output. In addition, the TMR formula must remain constant to make it palatable for the cows.
To minimize inconsistencies and improve profits, dairy farmers can utilize a properly calibrated scale system to measure each ingredient included in the TMR. Additionally, by adding automated feeding equipment, dairy farmers can further cut costs through a computerized feeding system programmed to fit the nutritional needs of each cow in the herd. Each cow wears a radio frequency tag that activates a pre-programmed amount of feed to be released whenever she accesses the feeding area.
If the idea of switching to a TMR feeding system is something that you would like to explore as a cost-cutting measure for your dairy operation, the first step is to determine what type of scale system you will need. Consulting with a professional such as B C Scale Co Ltd who specializes in the installation, calibration and balancing of industrial scale systems will help you choose the right scale system and expedite the process.Read More