A couple of decades ago, compound feed for cows was rare and was used only in large farms. Now the market has appeared a lot of different mixes. But against the background of all this abundance, not all breeders clearly understand what additives and in what quantities should be given to the cow. Next, we will try to understand the varieties of modern mixtures, their composition and dosages. And for small private farms, we have prepared the simplest, repeatedly proven recipe for home-made compound feed.
About the benefits of feed
In general, compound feed is a collective concept. After all, any feed mixture, which includes 3 or more ingredients, mixed in a certain proportion, can be partly called.
At the moment, the national GOST regulates about 500 recipes of feed for cattle. And we are not talking about imported feeds, which are abundant in our market.
Combined feed and supplements - things are very necessary and useful. If a cow gets monotonous food, it is useless to count on serious milk yield or weight gain. Moreover, the poverty of the diet is a direct path to disease and reduce the productivity of the herd.
According to modern rules, newborn calves, after 4-6 days from the moment of birth, must be given a prestarter mixture. And after 2 weeks, a full-fledged starter feed, which consists of 24 ingredients, is introduced into the diet of the young. You can get acquainted with the nutrition of babies in detail in the article "On compound feed for calves".
At first glance, mixtures and additives may seem expensive. But, as practice shows, it is cheaper to buy a good mixture, with which a cow will be healthy and happy, rather than spend money on tons of cheap food, medicines and veterinarian services.
Classification of mixtures
Conventionally, all the variety on the market can be divided into feed mixtures and various kinds of additives. The most well-known and popular is considered to be full-production products. In the documents, it passes under the label "PC". It is this feed that the animal eats up to 50% per day, of the total volume.
The basis of the full-value mixture is cereals, such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, and the like. But this product can and should be given only to adult cows. Calves are not allowed to give products belonging to the PC family, they will not be able to assimilate them.
Truly universal is the family of concentrates, marked with the letter "K" on the packages. The share of such feeds in the cattle menu ranges from 10% to 30%. If in full-mixtures the emphasis is on the energy component, then there is everything from carbohydrates to proteins, vitamins and minerals. Concentrates are produced for any age and gender.
The so-called mixed feeds are made on the basis of waste grain production. Compared with concentrates, they are of course poorer, bran, husk, chalk, arbamides come here. This family is more designed for dairy cattle.
Most of the market is occupied by so-called balancing products. These supplements contain a huge amount of proteins (proteins). So, their share can reach up to 40%. On the one hand, cattle cannot do without them, but on the other hand, it is prohibited to feed the cows with these additives soon.
An exception is made only for fattening bulls. The rest of the herd balancing products should be given dosed, according to special feed tables, which clearly indicate how much a calf or a cow is needed per day. In the documents, they are referred to as "BVD" or "BVMD".
Premixes are another big branch in the supplement family. But they focus on vitamins, minerals and various kinds of enzymes. Some premixes may even include antibiotics.
Most feed recipes necessarily contain some amount of premix. But the amount is small. So, in calf mixtures, it does not exceed 1%. In the diet of adult animals, the proportion can reach up to 4% of the food eaten.
There is also artificial protein or carbamide concentrate, which also belongs to the additives, it is given to calves and dairy herd and consists of betonitovoy clay and grain.
Standards and quality requirements
GOST in our country has always been the benchmark for quality. The composition of feed for cows is also regulated by similar documents. If we talk about specific numbers, then there are two versions of the standard - this is GOST 9268-90 and GOST 9268-2015.
In essence, it is one and the same document with the only difference that GOST 9268-2015 is considered newer and contains minor amendments. For a simple breeder, there is no particular difference between these standards. As the majority of amendments, basically, concerns the list of the countries in which this standard operates. The very essence of the document has not changed.
List the dosage of recipes from this standard in one article is unrealistic, since there are several hundred of them. Instead, we present the requirements that must be followed for the quality of feed:
- moisture content of dry and briquetted feed and additives - up to 14.5%;
- the number of whole seeds per 1 kg - 0.3-0.7%;
- the number of whole seeds for complete mixtures - 0.3-0.5%;
- the number of weed seeds - up to 0.1%;
- the number of pests per 1 kg (spiders, insects) - up to 5 individuals.
Each package of feed must be accompanied by a quality certificate, which specifies the manufacturer's details, the recipe with proportions and the shelf life of the product.
Despite the fact that feed for cattle now buy is not a problem, many owners prefer to interfere with his own hands. People do it not only for economic reasons. Here they clearly see how much and what they put to their cow. There are three popular recipes, for dairy cows, for meat cows and for bull producers.
Dairy cows need to mix ground corn (15%) with ground barley (20%). Next, sunflower meal (25%), wheat bran (15%) and grass meal (25%) are added. Salt and chalk go in the amount of 0.5%. Meal of sunflower can be replaced with cake. For a cow weighing 200-300 kg, you need 4-5 kg of a mixture per day. Large cows, from 600 kg, give about 10 kg.
For beef cattle, they first make a talker of brewer's grains, wheat bran and selenium. After fermentation, the composition is dried and can be stored for about a year. But producing bulls can not give it.
For the bulls, whole corn (16%), barley-oat mix (17%), bran cereal (15%), meal (20%), animal flour (5%), salt (1%) are mixed. Special premixes can also go here, but they are selected separately.
A few words about the equipment
Factory mixes and additives are available in three types - granular, briquetted and powdered or crumbly. Everything is clear with the plants, there is special equipment with which everything is dosed, mixed, dried and eventually the finished product is obtained.
To make a normal feed at home, you also need to fork out for several units. In general, a mini-line for the production of such products includes 5 mechanisms. Crusher for grain, maslopress for meal, granulator, hay chopper and dryer.
This whole set costs about 130 thousand rubles. But if there is no money for the full line, then start with a crusher and oil press. Without them, it is practically impossible to do something of high quality.
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Tell the readers of the site how you prepare feed, if you had to do it.