Advantages and disadvantages of different feeds for cattle

The modern diet of cows is not only grass. The menu of a healthy, highly productive animal should include concentrates, roughage, biologically active substances. In this article we will tell about their quantity and purpose.

The modern diet of cows is not only grass. The menu of a healthy, highly productive animal should include concentrates, roughage, biologically active substances. In this article we will tell about their quantity and purpose.

1. Types of feed for cattle

Roughage. The main source of fiber, which is necessary for the normal functioning of the polygastric stomach, the synthesis of microbial protein. Types of roughage: hay, straw, haylage, branches. Straw — dried culms (wheat, barley, millet, sorghum, etc.). Quality straw has humidity of 18-20%. Haylage is fermented grass. To prepare haylage, it is necessary to take grass, beet tops, corn, alfalfa and to ferment them without access of oxygen. Haylage preparation technology is similar to silage technology, but haylage retains more dry matter, it is less acidic than silage.


Branch fodder is collected by cutting the trees with thin branches. The perfect trees for this purpose are birch, maple, linden, etc. This diet is a partial alternative to hay and straw.


Succulent feed — silage, roots, pumpkin and zucchini. Succulent feed for cattle of vegetable origin is the basis for the increasing of milking capacity of cows, because it contains more water (70-90%) than dry matter. The norm for 1 cow per day is 5-7 kg.


Silage is prepared by lactic fermentation of green mass of corn, sorghum, lupine, amaranth, alfalfa, clover. When preparing combined silage, in addition to grass, stems and green parts of plants, roots, tops, carrots, sugar and fodder beets are added to the mass. This type of feed should not be neglected. In the diet of cattle roots are responsible for good digestibility of feed, contain a lot of fiber, water, sugar, protein. Additionally, carrots, beets, Jerusalem artichokes are inexpensive. Cow owners often grow roots and pumpkins on their plots, and it makes possible for them to further reduce the cost of cattle rations without skimping on feed quality.


Annually 1 cow requires 40-45 hwt of silage, 30-35 hwt of root crops and bulbs.


Green feed. This is the grass of pastures, legumes, sedges. Green feed is one of the cheapest. At the same time they have a high biological value, contain vitamins, minerals, lipids, B vitamins. Green grass has a high content of carotene,150-280 mg per 1 kg of dry matter. Legumes have the greatest nutritional value in this group, cereals are in the second place, and grasses are in the third place. Farmers who raise dairy cattle, it is reasonable to grow alfalfa, clover, sainfoin, Sudan grass, phacelia, amaranth, meadow grass to provide for a continuous green feed conveyor.


By-products of the food industry. Cattle respond positively to the use of treacle and molasses in the diet. These remnants of the syrup from which the sugar was obtained are molasses. About 35 kg of sugar, 540 kg of raw pulp and 40 kg of molasses are obtained from a ton of sugar beets. Molasses contains 65% of dry matter, which is instant sugar. This product is absorbed by the cow's body by 90%. Molasses stimulates appetite, salivation, increases digestion of food due to betaine, amino acids.


The benefits of using the product include:

  • increasing the digestibility of the dry matter of the diet;
  • stimulation of microbial activity in the rumen. The quality of milk, the percentage of protein in it depends on the activity of the microflora;
  • the taste of the feed is improved due to the sweetness, viscosity and rich flavors;
  • it increases the quality of milk.

No more than 15% of molasses dry matter is introduced into the diet of cattle. According to feeding norms, it is 0.4 kg of dry matter per 100 kg of live weight, but the maximum daily portion is not more than 2.5 kg of molasses. If the recommendation is not observed, and you do not provide enough fiber, you will get acidosis. When using sugar beet pulp for feeding, the amount of product is reduced to 1.5 kg per cow per day.


Concentrated feed in the form of individual cereals and compound feed. Compound feed for cattle is a mixture of crushed, extruded cereals, vegetable protein (soybean meal or sunflower meal), biologically active substances, macro — and micronutrients, functional additives. Compound feed plants produce concentrates for livestock in granular form, briquettes. Complete compound feeds (usually starters or growth feed) and PMVS (protein, mineral and vitamin supplement), premixes are available for purchase.


Ready-made compound feeds and PMVS in granular form:

  • reduce dust pollution in the area of the feed table and barn;
  • are convenient for storage and transportation;
  • exclude stratification of the finished feed mixture;
  • are ready to use.

In the availability of a good own fodder base (fields with perennial grass, good pasture nearby, a large amount of green fodder) it is more profitable to create a diet using PMVS. In the daily menu, concentrate accounts for 20% of the total feed. The value of PMVS and premixes in the amino acid profile. The product contains essential amino acids necessary for milk synthesis, high fertility, good health of livestock.


Salt brick. The body of cattle is deficient in chlorine and sodium from hay, succulent feed. Chlorine is indispensable for the synthesis of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, support of homeostasis. Additionally, table salt has antibacterial properties, suppresses pathogenic microflora in the digestive system of the animal.


The daily norm of salt to a cow is calculated as follows: the animal needs 5 grams of NaCl per 100 kilograms of weight, plus 4 grams for each liter of milk. But this calculation is relevant if you do not use feed, premix or PMVS. Because salt has already been added to the finished concentrates.

2. Feeding norms for cattle

The implementation of the genetic potential of dairy cows by 50% depends on providing them with metabolic energy, by 25% with protein and by 25% with minerals and vitamins. The farmer's task is to arrange such a level of feeding that guarantees the synthesis of quality products (beef or milk) with minimal consumption of nutrients per unit of output.


Any diet for young cattle under 90 days of age, dairy cows, heifers, first-calf cows, cows with the second and further lactation is based on feeding norms.


High-yielding cows with 1 liter of milk excrete 35 g of protein, 40 g of fat, 48 g of milk sugar, 1.2 g of Ca, 0.9 g of P.


From 1500 to 2000 liters of blood per 1 hour pass through the udder for the production of milk. 15-20 tons of blood in 24 hours pass through the udder of cows with a capacity of 38 kg of milk per day. These 38 kgs of milk contain more than 1.36 kg of fat, 1.36 kg of protein, 1.82 kg of lactose and 0.23 kg of minerals. So, all these substances must come into the body with feed. One should bear in mind that a cow with a deficiency of calcium in the diet, will take this component from its own skeleton, so as not to affect the quality of products. That is why the highly productive part of the cattle herd — dairy cows — is the most sensitive group to the deficiency of nutrients, energy, fiber.


Soviet feeding standards are being supplemented by new approaches to cattle feeding.


In particular, attention is paid not to crude fiber at all, but to the normalization of its fractions — neutral-detergent (NDF) and acid-detergent (ADF) fibers.


When introducing protein into the diet, not only its amount is taken into account, but also its splittability, bioavailability (whether or not it is split in the rumen). The critical issue in the rationing of a protein is its amino acid profile. In addition to recommended for rationing lysine, methionine and tryptophan, it is probably necessary to take into account their provision with histidine. The issue of providing high-yielding cows with easily digestible carbohydrates (sugar and starch) and their rationing has not been finally resolved. Therefore, rations for cattle without the use of root crops, saving on quality sources of fiber (hay, straw, haylage, silage) seem outdated.

Feeding norms for cattle

3. How to ensure a balanced diet

The basis of high productivity of cattle, health and longevity is set from the first hours of life. The first food for a calf is colostrum of a cow. Although from the 5th day it is recommended to start concentrated feed. For example, a specialized prestarter for calves AVA ZDOROVA ВРХ (Cattle) Prestart. Extruded cereals, yeast extract, pro — and prebiotics, biologically active substances are included in the feed for calves from 5 to 90 days.

In practice, calves get milk for up to 30 days maximum. Although still albumins, globulins, essential amino acids, probiotics are necessary for normal functioning, development of polygastric stomach of cattle. A modern alternative to mess on the basis of bran, skim milk, which have questionable nutritional value is AVA ZDOROVA Vitamilk ЗНМ (ZNM) (substitute for natural milk) for calves from 30 to 90 days. Concentrate in the form of dry powder takes into account all the physiological characteristics of the calf, stages of formation of the digestive system.

Advantages of milk substitute:
  • balanced formula. Vitamilk contains milk and vegetable fats, vegetable protein components, vitamins, dairy products, a complex of micro- and macronutrients, antioxidants and flavors;
  • easy to prepare and store. Just dissolve the powder in warm water according to the instructions;
  • the basis of strong immunity of the calf, preparation of the digestive system for roughage.
The complete transition from dairy-plant to plant foods is a challenge for young cattle. Specialized PMVS AVA ZDOROVA B for calves from 90 days will help to prepare the gastric microflora, adjust the pH in its sections (honeycomb, manifold, abomasum, rumen) in accordance with the physiological norm, to avoid acidosis. The finished concentrate helps the animal to reveal its genetic potential, to minimize the effects of technological stress.

The most highly productive group of animals are dairy cows. This is a real milk factory. Lactation at the same time as pregnancy is a test for the body of cattle. Therefore, it is important to provide a full balanced diet that covers the needs of the cow's body, helps to reach the level of genetic maximum in milk productivity, sets the foundations for high fertility. AVA ZDOROVA Super milking — PMVS for dairy cows will cope with these tasks. The concentrate contains 35% of crude protein, a set of nutrients, vitamins, biologically active substances that prevent the development of enteritis and mastitis.

High-yielding livestock is good genetics, multiplied by a complete, quality, balanced diet. And one is impossible without the other.

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