How to make use of herd productivity?
Currently the most popular system of feeding cows is TMR (Total Mixed Ration) in other words, weighing and blending all feed components into a complete ration which provides sufficient nourishment to meet the needs of dairy cows. The system requires creating a few feeding groups or applying one average feed dose. In this case productivity of the most efficient cows is not used fully and at the same time cows with the low productivity get an expensive concentrate mix.
The alternative for TMR is PMR system (Partly Mixed Ration) which is a system that makes up only a part of the cow’s diet.
This system has the advantages of universal TMR and precision of feed stations when concentrate and vitamin and mineral supplements are dosed.
When using PMR there is no need of separating feeding groups because all the cows get one basic TMR ration prepared for 25 kg of milk. Production over this productivity is rewarded by concentrate and supplements from a feed station.
Such system allows less usage of expensive concentrate and at the same time it covers an individual energetic and protein demand for example in the first stage of lactation.
Considering milking parlours equipped with herd management system, it is worth analyzing of complex investment effectiveness including also automatic feed stations.
Firstly the cow should be rewarded according to the day of lactation and quantity of milk yield. Defining feeding groups in the INFODEX herd management system allows to make use of farm resource and herd potential.
Secondly using PASZOTEC feed stations equipped with liquid dispensers allows to meet high energy requirements for those cows having lactation, adding glycerol, treacle and mineral supplements into the feed.
Thirdly feed station is equipped with scales which allows body weight measurement during feed intake. The information about the changes in weight which are recorded in the herd management system INFODEX facilitates balancing and correction of determined feed rations. Fluctuation in weight is an explicit signal to control cow’s health as lack of appetite is one of the first symptoms of mastitis, hoof diseases etc.