Feeding principles of dairy animals for farmers.Selection of feed ingredientes depend upon availabilty and their cost, but one should keep in mind some thumbrules while feeding pregnant cows and buffaloes. If you know these concepts you can formulate your own feed.
1. Pre partum prediod basically starts when animal enter in last trimester of pregnancy
2. Size of Uterus increases dramaticaly and its energy protein needs also increases
3. Although production goes down but feed intake increases (due to changing hormonal profile)
4. That feed utilise for 2 purpose (1st) growing calf needs (2nd) increase weight of animals (mainly fat deposition / body score)
5. This fat is mobilise during early lactation for milk production. This is essentially required because animal always remain negative energy balance during early post partum period.
6. Why negative energy? It is because animal could not eat required amount of feed even if you offered. During pregnancy when uterus increases in size it make pressure on rumen which decreases in size and pippillae density also decreases. That’s why animal DMI decreases drastically until proper urerine involution occurs.
7. In this case status feeding during pre partum period decides animal’s total production.
8. Further farmer should have genuine data based achievable goals – he should focus on milk yield in 8th week (peak production) after calving because production indices thumb rule says that total production during lactation (300days) is equal to peak production X 200. If you have peak production (8th week) is 12 liter than you will get around 2400liters in whole lactation. So if you able to increase peak production by 1 liter it manifest in 200liters approximately.
9. So feeding in pre partum period plays important role in dairy economics. Bypass fat feeding upto certain extend in considered (50 to 100g to cows and 150g to buffaloes). Use enzymes with green fodder, give barley based high energy ration depending upon weight, good quality mineral mixture, NEVER GIVE CALCIUM ESP TO COWS IN LAST MONTH. Excess feeding will not give good results, FEEDING MUST BE BALANCED AS PER SCIETIFIC REQUIREMENTS.