Influence of a pregnant cow diet to the health and productivity of its offspring

Feeding a cow during pregnancy and lactation should provide the body with sufficient nutrients. The health of an adult animal and the condition of young animals depend on it. It has been proven that malnourished embryos have insufficient skeletal muscle volume. If the embryos do not have enough nutrients and micronutrients during the initial period of pregnancy, calves with low muscle mass are born. Thus, over time, this will cause a deterioration in the quality of meat and reduce its quantity.

Calves that lack nutrients during fetal development do not have enough renal nephrons. They will have problems with the excretion of toxins from the body and waste products. Such calves grow slowly and develop poorly. The consequences of embryonic starvation are also changes in body constitution and the conversion of food into fat instead of meat.
These problems of young animals with malnutrition during fetal development are explained by the genetic memory of the body. The body gains weight at any convenient time, which leads to obesity.
Factors affecting the feeding of dairy cows
Cattle differs from other animals by the tendency to a rhythmic daily diet. As a rule, cows graze in 4 periods. And each of them has time limits. Most animals eat 1 hour before dawn in summer and 50 minutes before sunrise in winter. The last meal may last for an hour after sunset.

It is important to know that by smell and touch cows are able to evaluate feed only visually. They have taste buds in the mouth to determine the taste on the tongue. Their number is huge — about 25,000.

Cattle like to eat sweet and sour foods, and eat salty food less actively. But they don’t like bitter food. There are two factors that determine the features of feeding dairy cows:
● free access to food in the pasture — cows eat on their own initiative;
● rationed feeding — both with tied and untied livestock management, feeding is regulated by a person taking into account the daily routine.

Feeding and its quality are also affected by the speed of eating — bulky feed requires a lot of time. The rate of food intake depends on the following features:
● taste and quality of feed;
● method of food distribution;
● the habit of the animal to a certain type of feed;
● the size of single portions.

It is important to take into account the fact that cows are ruminants. Therefore, the chewing process contributes to the grinding of feed.

Experienced breeders say that young dairy cows are happy to eat whole grain cereals, granulated alfalfa flour. Loose flour is eaten with less appetite.
And another feature of cattle feeding — animals consume not only the surface layer, they like to push the piles in the feeders with their heads and eat the fluffy mass.
The importance of a balanced diet for pregnant and dairy cows
Dairy productivity of cows is always combined with pregnancy. The body simultaneously spends resources on milk synthesis and growth, development of the calf embryo. It is important for a pregnant cow to get enough protein, to support phosphorus and calcium balance. Otherwise, the calf will take calcium and phosphorus from the cow's skeleton. Thus provoking the development of postpartum paresis, other problems with productivity and health.

Zootechnicians and nutritionists recommend introducing feed concentrates that contain at least 35% of crude protein. For example, PVMA Feedlance Super milking is a nutritional support for dairy cows. Due to the balanced concentrated form of this PMVS only up to 2.5 kg per day is needed. The supplement includes amino acids, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

The use of PMVS is a solution for farmers with a strong grain base, hay and straw reserve. It is the supplement that helps to strengthen the diet, prevent problems with milk productivity decrease, smooth the lactation curve and keep it at its peak longer.

Additionally, Feedlance Super milking not only provides for productivity. It strengthens the cow's immunity, reducing the likelihood of developing mastitis, complications after calving. Also, the formula with amino acids, vitamins, microelements (zinc) and unsaturated fatty acids has a positive effect on reproductive health: it reduces the percentage of idleness in the livestock, false sexual hunting. The calves are born large, active, with a well-developed digestive system.
Pregnant cow diet
The body of pregnant cows requires enhanced nutrition. For example, a calf at 7 months reaches weight of 12 to 16 kg, and daily increases its weight by 300-400 g It means that the mother cow should receive food rich in protein. If you consider the vitamins availability in the diet, the pregnant animal requires a sufficient amount of vitamins A, D and E — their lack often provokes miscarriages. In case of vitamins deficiency during pregnancy, weak calves are born, and the health of the cow itself may worsen.

The main components of the diet are hay, legumes and silage. Ideally, farmers include concentrates, useful and succulent feeds in the form of tuber and root crops. The recommended diet of pregnant cows in the dry season is as follows:
● hay (various grasses) — from 3 to 4 kg;
● haylage of cereals and legumes — 11 kg;
● silage (corn) — 11 kg;
● fodder beet — from 8 to 9 kg;
● concentrated feed — from 2.5 to 3 kg.

In winter, cows should be fed coniferous flour or branches of coniferous trees.

It should be noted that certain feeds during pregnancy exclude: sour pulp, moldy straw and hay, frozen beets. Frozen potatoes shouldn’t also be fed.
The daily diet of a dairy cow
As the experience of many generations of livestock breeders suggests, good feeding is expensive, and bad feeding is ruinous. There is still controversy about the optimal supply of dairy cows with feed and water. Naturally, the goal of every business owner is to raise milk yield. Researchers claim that you can increase the amount of milk 3 times by twice increasing the feeding.

High-yielding cow is able to convert at least 40% of energy into milk, while low-yielding cow — only 25%. As a result, feeding low-yielding animals can be 1.5 to 2 times more expensive.

A cow with a live weight of 450 to 500 kg in winter requires 6-8 kg of quality hay. At the same time, 2 kg can be replaced by the straw of spring crops. It is better to feed grasses-and-legumes hay.

The cow needs at least 6-8 kg of succulent feed per 100 kg of body weight per day. These feeds must be presented at least by two or three types. Large animals can be fed with 50 kg of these feeds per day. When making a diet, follow the rules of distribution of succulent feeds:
● sugar beets — from 12 to 45 kg, fodder beets — up to 30 kg per day;
● instead of beets, you can feed potatoes in the same quantities;
● 2-8 kg of carrots positively affect milk yields;
● silage should be fed at the rate of 6 - 8 kg per day, haylage — 2-3 kg.
Feeding of concentrates also needs to be controlled. If the animal produces 10 kg of milk per day, they should be present in the amount of 100 g per 1 liter of milk, in case of 10 - 15 kg of milk yield — from 100 to 150 g In order to get 15-20 liters of milk per day, the cow must eat up to 200 g of concentrate per liter, milk yield of 25 liters and above requires from 300 to 350 g of concentrate.

An example of the daily diet of a dairy cow with a live weight of 500 kg is as follows:
● hay — 8 kg;
● spring straw — 2 kg;
● succulent feed — 30 kg;
● concentrates — 3 kg;
● table salt - from 50 to 60 g;
● part of food and kitchen waste (the amount can be adjusted independently).

With such a feed balance, the animal will produce 15 liters of milk per day.
It is important to understand that in the first 2-3 months the cow is milked, so when feeding you need to focus not on physical milk yields, but on the future yields. It means that you need to feed 2-3 times more than if the feed was calculated on the actual amount of milk. Thus, feed is an advance of future milk yields.

Lactating cows should eat at the scheduled time in the morning, afternoon and evening.

In summer, feeding greatly simplifies grazing. During the day the dairy animal eats from 70 to 80 kg of green grass. If it is not possible to graze for a long time, the animals need to be provided with freshly cut greens. But it should not be stored — the next day after mowing the grass loses its properties, and in some cases can be dangerous to the body.
In conclusion, we would like to add that some feeds adversely affect the taste of milk. Therefore, you need to make sure that the cow does not eat wormwood, which gives bitterness, peas, beans, beet tops and turnips. The unpleasant smell of milk appears if a cow eats wild onion and garlic.

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