Feeding Spring Calving Cows in Late Lactation 

 

Feeding Spring Calving Cows in Late Lactation 
Why Feed in Autumn
- Autumn grass is lower in energy
- Prolong the grazing Season
- Yield response
- Magnesium needed
- Mineral and Vitamins need
- Maintain Lactose %
- Manage Body condition score
Feed for autumn grass limitations and yield response
Autumn grass has a lower energy value (lower sugar content) compared to spring/summer grass even through it can look very leafy and green.  Consequently the response to ration in terms of milk yield is better in the autumn than at any other time of the year; typically 1 litre of milk per 1Kg concentrate fed. 
 
Key Point: Feeding meal has the additional benefits of prolonging the grazing season, improving cow condition score, maintaining milk volume and keeping lactose levels higher.
Higher levels of meal feeding are justified where grass supply is poor or the milk yield potential of the cow is better than average.  
Feed to supply minerals and Cal Mag to prevent Grass Tetany
- Leafy grass in autumn is high in potash, therefore Mg is required to prevent Tetany.
- Autumn grass is low in Selenium, copper, zinc and iodine  
Feed to BCS 3.0 -3.5 at drying-off and calving down.
Milking cow gains condition more efficiently than dry cow. Take action now to ensure cow BCS is on target. If cows have a BCS of 2.75 or less in October special attention, through high feeding rates at grass or extending the dry period is required.  
    
Feed for Lactose 
Lactose Levels
4.50% = minimum target at any time (ref UCD).  
<4.20% = Milk Price penalty.  
Cause of Low Lactose? 
Not enough energy in the cows diet caused by low intake of wet, low-sugar, autumn grass. 
What to do if lactose is low ?
If you are feeding good autumn grass:
       - Feed 2-4kg/day concentrates  
       - Feed Grass aid, a dairy feed high in energy, 14% crude protein, high in minerals and Cal Mag.  
If you are feeding scarce or wet autumn grass
- on top of concentrates, introduce dry forage (grass silage/maize silage/hay). 
      - Feed higher protein concentrates e.g.  post calver gold 16%/18%, dairy pride and milk rite
If you feed concentrates at grass you must maintain grass quality through correct grassland management.  Feeding meal has the additional benefits of prolonging the grazing season, improving cow condition score, maintaining milk volume and keeping lactose levels higher.

Why Feed in Autumn
- Autumn grass is lower in energy
- Prolong the grazing Season
- Yield response- Magnesium needed
- Mineral and Vitamins need
- Maintain Lactose %
- Manage Body condition score
Feed for autumn grass limitations and yield response
Autumn grass has a lower energy value (lower sugar content) compared to spring/summer grass even through it can look very leafy and green.  Consequently the response to ration in terms of milk yield is better in the autumn than at any other time of the year; typically 1 litre of milk per 1Kg concentrate fed. 

 

Key Point: Feeding meal has the additional benefits of prolonging the grazing season, improving cow condition score, maintaining milk volume and keeping lactose levels higher.
Higher levels of meal feeding are justified where grass supply is poor or the milk yield potential of the cow is better than average.  

Feed to supply minerals and Cal Mag to prevent Grass Tetany
- Leafy grass in autumn is high in potash, therefore Mg is required to prevent Tetany.
- Autumn grass is low in Selenium, copper, zinc and iodine  
Feed to BCS 3.0 -3.5 at drying-off and calving down.
Milking cow gains condition more efficiently than dry cow. Take action now to ensure cow BCS is on target. If cows have a BCS of 2.75 or less in October special attention, through high feeding rates at grass or extending the dry period is required.  
    

Feed for Lactose 
Lactose Levels
4.50% = minimum target at any time (ref UCD).  
<4.20% = Milk Price penalty.  
Cause of Low Lactose?
Not enough energy in the cows diet caused by low intake of wet, low-sugar, autumn grass. 
What to do if lactose is low ?
If you are feeding good autumn grass:
       - Feed 2-4kg/day concentrates
       - Feed Grass aid, a dairy feed high in energy, 14% crude protein, high in minerals and Cal Mag.  
If you are feeding scarce or wet autumn grass
        - On top of concentrates, introduce dry forage (grass silage/maize silage/hay).
        - Feed higher protein concentrates e.g.  post calver gold 16%/18%, dairy pride and milk rite

If you feed concentrates at grass you must maintain grass quality through correct grassland management.  Feeding meal has the additional benefits of prolonging the grazing season, improving cow condition score, maintaining milk volume and keeping lactose levels higher. 

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