What Do You Feed a Dairy Cow?

what do you feed a dairy cow

There are many things to consider when feeding your cow. Dry Alfalfa Hay accounts for 16.5% of the cow’s diet. Canola makes up 1.9%. Salt is the most energy-dense nutrient. And sodium bicarbonate raises the pH of the cow’s rumen. If you have more than one cow, you might want to try a mixture. And while you’re at it, you can experiment with different types of feed to see which ones work best for your cow.

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Dry Alfalfa Hay accounts for 16.5% of the cow’s diet

The nutritional value of alfalfa hay can be determined by nutrient analysis. For example, if alfalfa hay contains 16.5% protein, the feeding value should be lower than that. The amount of alfalfa a cow should consume per day depends on the condition of the cow and the desired body composition. Ideally, a cow should consume about 2.5-3 pounds of alfalfa per day. However, many dairy producers have started feeding alfalfa hay to their cows because of its low cost and relatively high nutritional value.

Alfalfa silage and Dry Alfalfa hay account for fifty-six percent of a dairy cow’s diet. Other sources of forage include corn, ground barley, and wheat, and vitamin & mineral mix. The best source of alfalfa is one with a relatively high protein content, such as molasses, which are rich in vitamin C and E.

Canola accounts for 1.9%

A recent study examined the effects of canola oil in dairy cow diets. The amount of canola per kg of milk decreased the concentration of palmitic and palmitoleic fatty acids in milk. It also increased milk crude protein (CP) concentration by 0.32%. The effect of canola on milk composition and quality was not significantly affected by other changes in the diet.

While canola oil is a good source of fat for dairy cow diets, it should only be used as a last resort. It can reduce milk production and decrease milk fat concentration. Also, it’s important to consider the inclusion rate. More than 3.6% of what you feed a dairy cow’s diet is harmful. This includes other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Salt is the most energy dense nutrient

Fats and carbohydrates provide the majority of a dairy cow’s energy needs. Both provide about two times as much energy as protein or carbohydrates, and neither are digested in the rumen. Compared to proteins and carbohydrates, fats deliver a higher caloric content and help maintain milk production levels. Dairy cows need around 20 to 25 percent fat to produce optimal milk.

The bulk theory suggests that the energy content of a feed ration is proportional to the milk produced by the cow. It is also possible to feed a higher proportion of protein in the early lactation period to maintain a cow’s body condition and milk production. This approach works well in the late lactation stage and dry period, but is not always as effective during the winter.

Sodium bicarbonate increases the pH of the rumen

Milk production from dairy cows depends on a healthy rumen environment. Improper digestion of feed may weaken a cow’s production, resulting in metabolic disorders. The proper pH level of a cow’s rumen is essential to the health of its microbial population. It ranges from 6.2 to 6.8. A decrease in rumen pH leads to decreased fiber digestion and dry matter intake. Moreover, a reduction in the level of endogenous enzyme activity and decreased microbial yields are all signs of a poor environment.

The effects of sodium bicarbonate on the rumen pH of dairy cows were assessed using descriptive statistics, including mean ruminal pH, maximum and minimum pH, area pH units x h, and daily ruminal pH. In addition, acetate and butyrate absorption were also studied. The results of the study indicated that sodium bicarbonate increases the pH of the rumen of dairy cows.

Selenium deficiency causes myopathies in calves

A lack of selenium in the diet may contribute to a variety of reproductive problems, including weak calves and retained placenta. In adults, selenium deficiency is associated with weakened muscles, chronic infections, and reproductive problems, including infertility and miscarriage. This mineral may also contribute to the development of milk fever in dairy cows.

While a selenium deficiency can occur in dairy cows, some areas of the country are either deficient or toxic levels. Selenium is particularly low in Pacific Northwest soil and feeds. Signs of a selenium deficiency include lameness, diarrhea, and poor doers. The muscles of the heart and swallowing systems can be affected, causing aspiration pneumonia and sudden death. In pigs, a selenium deficiency may also result in liver degeneration.

Sodium deficiency causes retained placenta

Retained placenta in dairy cows is a medical condition that results from failure of the fetus to pass through the placenta within 12 hours of parturition. The incidence of retained placenta in dairy cows is low, ranging from 1.3 to 39.2% of all parturitions. The condition has major economic consequences for dairy farmers around the world.

The aetiology of retained placenta in dairy cows is multifactorial and associated with metabolic changes during the periparturient period, which are connected to the high demands placed on the foetus during pregnancy and the onset of lactation. In addition to hormonal changes and disturbances in the internal balance, nutritional and mineral deficiencies have been implicated as causes of retained placenta in dairy cows.