Balancing energy sources to maintain dairy herd health and fertility

Balancing energy sources to maintain dairy herd health and fertility

Balancing the correct choice of energy sources and buffer feeding will be key to optimising dairy herd productivity, advises nutritional supplement manufacturer UFAC-UK, in the light of seasonal lower grass yields.

 

“To optimise productivity you need healthy, fertile cows, producing good volumes of milk with high constituent values. But, with grass yields looking lower generally, and low in fibre, this does give rise to rumen acid loading and high risk of low butter fats,” warns UFAC-UK ruminant technical manager, Mike Chown.

“By measuring and managing quality and quantity, grazing can be balanced with the correct choice of energy sources and buffer feeding, to ensure an effective rumen fermentation and maximise dry matter intakes (DMI),” he says.

The grazing this summer is also high in rapidly fermentable carbohydrates (RFC’s) and adding more starches and sugars to the feed will only increase the rumen acid loading.

“To balance this, we need to add effective fibre-based feeds,” says Mr Chown. “A balanced, highly digestible rumen inert fat should be added, to ensure energy requirements are met and cows are kept healthy and fertile.”

Importantly at this time of the year, adding balanced rumen inert fat, which is digested in the small intestine, has the added benefit of not generating heat in the rumen.

Consequently, it does not add to the DMI reduction often seen in the summer, as a result of the increase in the temperature humidity index (THI).

“With the volatility in palm-oil prices, and the increasing concern over the environmental impact of its use, now is a good time for dairy farmers to consider alternative sources of energy,” says Mr Chown.

dynalac is a palm-free fat supplement, and its unique combination of fatty acids is achieving the same and additional benefits of calcium soaps, while reducing the impact on the environment.

“Adding a combination of dynalac and our unique calcium-glycerol product glyco-buf will provide the cow with everything she needs to maintain the correct rumen pH, milk quality, herd health and fertility, all of which are at potential risk,” concludes Mr Chown.

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