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Feeding

Forage Feeding

a. Type

  • These are mainly green forages such as Napier grass, Lucerne and sweet potato vines among others.

b. Feeding Method

  • All forages should be chopped and fed in feeding troughs to avoid feed wastage.

Straw and Farm Products

a. Type

  • These include materials such as wheat straw. Rice straw maize Stover and other vegetable byproducts

b. Feeding Method

  • They are best fed by first soaking in water or molasses incase of straw and also poor quality hay.

c. Required Quantities

  • A dairy cow should be given 40-70kg of chopped forage per day, preferably in two splits i.e. one in the morning and the other in the evening.

Ration

  • Dairy cattle ration should contain 70% energy source, 30% protein source and required minerals (such as: 35% wheat bran + 35% maize + 30% cotton seed cake + 1% minerals).

Supplements

  • A dairy cow should be given two kilograms of concentrates for each gallon of milk produced above the first 2 gallons. It is assumed that a cow can produce up to two gallons of milk per day from good forage without giving concentrates so long as the required minerals are present or available.

Concentrates

a. Type

  • Dairy cubes, dairy meals, maize germ, bran (wheat, rice or maize), cotton seed cake sunflower cake, Soya bean cake etc.

b. Time of feeding

  • For lactating cows concentrates are given always when milking
  • For steaming up cows and heifers concentrates are given daily for 2 months before calving

c. Quality

  • Concentrates to have 15-18% crude protein

d. Quantities

  • 2 kg /day /cow during steaming up and up to 4kg /cow /day for in calf heifers during steaming up.
  • 2 kg /day /cow for each extra 1 gallon of milk above the first 2 gallons.

Note: Steaming up

  • This is extra feed of high quality concentrates (preferably compounded), which is given to in-calf cows and heifers at 2-4 kg per cow per day for two months before calving. However, it can be more or less depending on the condition of the animal. Growing heifers will need more.

Minerals

a. Types

  • For milking cows maclic super can be used
  • For heifers and dry cows maclic plus can be used

b. Quantity

  • Each animal should consume 80 to 100gm per day of maclic, super or plus

c. Method

  • Granular mineral products should be mixed with feeds in a feeding trough while free lick should be allowed if it is in the form of a solid block.

Note: Calves should get maclic plus block in adlib.

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