November 2019 Monthly Management
Winter Agri Workshop 2019, Body Condition Scoring, Score 21% Replacement Heifer Nut, Drinagh Pre-Calver Minerals 2019/2020
Winter Agri Workshop 2019
Drinagh Co-op hosted the annual Agri-Workshop on Tuesday the 26th November in the West Cork Hotel Skibbereen from 2.30pm to 9.00pm. This year’s event covered a wide range of topics and issues including:
- Annual Agreed Volume with creamery staff.
- Drinagh Mill staff and sales representatives will be available to discuss animal nutrition issues, forage analysis, winter feeding plans and mineral supplementation.
- Dairy hygiene and chlorine free detergents
- Water heating options
- Animal health products
Also present on the day were personnel from Teagasc West Cork, Munster Bovine, ICBF, PastureBase and many more industry experts providing free advice, information and demonstrations on a range of products and services. Some of the leading industry speakers and companies included:
Doreen is a widely regarded throughout the country as an expert on all animal breeding and health issues. She will be available to meet farmers to discuss herd health matters and draw up health plans specific to an individual farm.
Teagasc Milk Quality Specialist, Don specializes in milk quality issues such as SCC/mastitis, TBC’s thermoduric control, and sediment issues. Don will be available to discuss any milk quality issues on a one-to- one basis.
Having previously worked in Johnstown Castle Research Centre, William has an in-depth knowledge on nutrient management, low emission slurry spreading and the use of protected urea.
Working as a research officer in Teagasc Moorepark, Johns area of expertise includes energy consumption on dairy farms, milking machine performance and renewable energy integration.
Body Condition Scoring
Now is an important time to assess the Body Condition Score (BCS) of your herd. The target BCS at drying off should be 2.75 to 3.25. If cows are dried off at a BSC below 2.75, they will have an increased risk of calving disorders and reduced milk and reproductive in their next lactation. When thin cows are identified, three management options should be addressed:
- Dry off early to allow a long dry period to put on weight.
- Milk thin cows once-a-day so that they gain extra weight.
- Supplement with good quality meals so that thin cows gain weight before drying off.
In many cases, waiting until thin cows are dried off to commence supplementary feeding will be too late to build body condition. It takes 72MJ of energy to put on 1kg liveweight on a dry cow whereas it takes 50MJ to gain the same weight while she is milking. Hence the value of identifying the thin cows in October and feeding them meals to rectify the problem early.
In working to achieve BCS targets, it is also important to know the quality of silage being fed. If quality is low or poor, the right level of supplementation will be needed to build body condition, see table for more details.
Score 21% Replacement Heifer Nut
Replacement heifers are the backbone and future of every herd and should be treated accordingly. In order to receive maximum return from heifers throughout their breeding and lactating life, they need quality feeding. Not adequately providing quality protein in the diet during this period results in stunted growth and delay or suppression of cycling which subsequently postpones entry into the herd.
To help stimulate growth and achieve target weights, the formulation of the Replacement Heifer Nut has been updated to a 21% protein feed (formerly 19%). This change was based upon a review of all the silage samples submitted to Drinagh over the previous three years (first and second cut pit samples, see chart) After assessing the consistently low protein appearing in results of these silage samples, we feel that replacement heifers will benefit from a higher level of protein than the previous formulation was offering. When supplied with the right level of dietary protein, heifers will continue to grow and develop during the crucial winter housing period. To discuss feeding options, please contact Drinagh Score Feeds staff or sales representatives.
Drinagh Pre-Calver Minerals 2019/2020
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