Rules for feeding dry cows

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Balanced feeding of pregnant dry cows is a guarantee of the health of the heifer and a springboard to the future for her offspring. Disorders of proportions, can adversely affect the birth process, which subsequently will lead to serious diseases, impaired development of the calf, disruptions in milk production. On how and what you will feed the cow during her "decree", depend on all indicators of productivity. The wrong approach to this issue will lead to problems with the digestive system. About how to prevent this, you will learn in our article.

Consequences of improper diet

To say that improper feeding of a cow during the dry period is the cause of dangerous diseases, without confirming this with facts, does not make sense. We want to explain with practical examples what the disturbance in the diet of an animal can lead to. It has been proven that:

  • unbalanced feeding can cause maternity paresis;
  • with improper nutrition, the afterbirth is delayed 4 times more often;
  • the weight of calves being born is reduced by 20%;
  • the yield decreases (on average by 500 kg per year);
  • cows violated the sexual cycle, which reduces the likelihood of fertilization by 50%;
  • lactation is disturbed.

In the last stages of pregnancy, cows should be active in the body and the accumulation of iron in it. If the heifer loses vitamins and minerals, then these processes are disturbed.

Norms for cows during dryness

Standards for feeding dry cows exist because their disturbance causes obesity of heifers. In turn, this becomes the cause of difficult calving. Particular attention should be paid to heifers, since it is they who are most likely to gain weight.

It is important that during the dry period the heifer does not gain or lose weight. By factory standards, its fatness at the time of the dry period should be equal to 3.5 points: the layer of spinal fat should not exceed 25 mm. These parameters should be maintained during the entire first dry period.

Violating these rules, you doom the animal to difficult childbirth and the development of post-natal diseases, the most common of which is ketosis. It is caused by an intense decrease in fat mass. Most of all, ketozota are susceptible to heifers.

Sources of energy and protein value

The main source of energy is protein. Its deficiency in the diet of pregnant cows can lead to exhaustion, reduce the viability of the fetus, cause a shortage of milk during the lactation period. That is why it is necessary to strictly comply with the prescribed protein standards.

The source of protein is dry matter, which must be added daily to the diet of a dry, dry cow. The daily rate is calculated by the formula: 2.2-2.4 kg of dry matter per 100 kg of weight. Such consumption by the body is due to the fact that it is necessary not only for the cow, but also for the correct development of the calf.

But it is always important to know the measure and not to give cows more protein than indicated in the formula. An excess of it can lead to as serious consequences as a shortage. Thus, an excess of cleavable protein contains ammonia, which causes abnormal liver function.

The value of starch and sugar

It is impossible to overestimate the role of starch and sugar in the body of a cow. First, they are an easily accessible source of energy. Secondly, they are involved in the process of digestion. Starch and sugar are extremely important for the work of the fore stomach, which accounts for up to 85% of digestible dry food.

Starch and sugar are easily digestible carbohydrates involved in the formation of glycogen. He himself ensures the normal functioning of the liver and the correct formation of the placenta.

Lack of easily digestible carbohydrates in pregnant cows can lead to digestive disorders, acidosis and premature birth. To prevent this, it is recommended to add sugar-containing products to their diet in the following proportions: 15% per 1 kg of dry matter.

Features of minerals

Organizing the feeding of dry cows and heifers must be aware of minerals. If the animal does not receive minerals with a daily ration, then the body removes them from the bone tissue, which causes osteomalacia, osteoporosis and abortions. Often, during the dry period, the cows are sorely lacking in phosphorus.

Lack of phosphoric acid affects the absorption of protein, carotene and leads to malfunction of the organs of reproduction.

The daily rate of minerals in dry cows is given in the table:

It is recommended to adhere to these rules during the whole dry period. The only exception is salt and chalk, the amount of which must be reduced in the last 3 weeks. This is done in order to prevent udder swelling.

Attention, vitamins!

They play a huge role in the body and the lack in the process of pregnancy can adversely affect both the heifer and her fetus. The rate of vitamins necessary for the normal flow of calving is shown in the table:

When a cow lacks carotene, it causes miscarriage, the birth of weakened calves and a decrease in the quality of colostrum. The shortage can be filled with carotene preparations or vitamin A.

A decrease in vitamin D can disrupt the mineral metabolism in the mother's body and cause rickets in calves ... The natural source of vitamin D is the sun's rays. With their absence, you can fill the shortage, giving the cow hay, dried in the sun.

The value of feeding at the beginning of the dry period

During the onset of dry standing, feeding heifers and pregnant dry cows is aimed at strengthening their overall well-being. It is recommended to maintain the normal functioning of the body, monitor the processes of digestion and how the fetus develops.

The first weeks of this period are extremely unstable, because the heifer changes its usual rhythm of life, which can adversely affect health. During the transition to the dry period, a spleen may pour over the cow, which is why it is able to abandon the usual food.

To this did not happen, make sure not only that her diet was rich in vitamins, but also for its diversity. Give the cow only high-quality feed and hay, do not be lazy to pamper her favorite treat.

Drawing up a menu for feeding dry cows in the first stages, you should remember about the existence of a number of rules. During the first phase of dead wood, animals should consume during the day:

  • from 2 to 4 kg of hay;
  • 20-25 kg of selected hay;
  • about 1 kg of feed.

If you notice that the heifer began to show signs of obesity, you need to include in the diet 1-2 kg of spring straw. Coarse feeds are selected, as they contribute to the secretion of saliva, which helps prevent acidosis.

Contraindications in the feeding of pregnant cows in the first phase

At the first stage of dry cattle, it is not recommended to give them concentrated feed, since they can lead to disruptions in digestion processes, impair reproduction functions and increase the risk of mastitis and paresis. If you add peroxidized silage to the ration, then the content of butyric acid in it should not exceed 0.2%. If you exceed the norm, ketosis or hypocalcemia may develop. A high level of butyric acid leads to a deterioration in the quality of colostrum.

During the dry period, it is important that the cow receives all the necessary vitamins and trace elements. But ready-made food can rarely fill the entire rate required by animals.

In order not to deal with the consequences of a lack of vitamins, from the very beginning, examine the level of their content in the feed used and add to the diet those components that can fill in the missing substances.

Option premix for the first period of dryness

As noted above, ready-made feeds rarely can fill up all the vitamins and trace elements a cow needs. Therefore, experienced farmers themselves produce premixes for feeding heifers. We present to you an approximate variant of nutrition for the first period of dead wood during the pregnancy of a cow.

For 1 ton of premix it is necessary to include products containing: 2960 g of copper, 6500 g of zinc, 1500 g of manganese, 450 g of cobalt, 300 g of iodine, 8 g of selenium, 8.6 billion IU of vitamin A, 580 thousand IU of vitamin D and 1500 g of vitamin E.

If you do not take a cow to pasture, then its diet should consist of 30-40% fresh grass. Gradually, this percentage can be reduced and the animal transferred to a combined diet.

The value of proper feeding in the second phase

The second phase of dead wood begins three weeks before the beginning of calving. This period is considered critical, and the health of the cow and calf depend on it. The farmer has 21 days to prepare the cow's body for the lactation period.

In the process of lactation, the body undergoes serious changes, and without proper preparation, it can not cope with the load. During the second phase, it is necessary to increase the attention for the animals and revise its diet.

It depends on proper feeding: preparing the body for lactation, preventing a decrease in dry matter intake, preventing metabolic disturbances and altering the digestive processes. It is necessary to do all this gradually so that the body smoothly and without consequences enters a new role.

Consequences of improper feeding in the second phase

Studies show that only 60% of cows after calving are healthy. The remaining 40% are heifers who become sick with post-natal diseases due to the fact that their body could not cope with the load. The reason for their occurrence is considered unbalanced feeding. It also leads to a metabolic disorder in a weakened body and the emergence of maternity paresis, acidosis, ketosis and mastitis. The reason for this is that with an increase in the uterus in the last stages of pregnancy, the capacity of the digestive tract is significantly reduced.

During this period, the cows can not consume the right amount of bulk feed, resulting in a lack of vitamins and minerals. To prevent vitamin depletion, three weeks before calving, cows are transferred to a different diet.

The norms of nutrients and how to achieve them

In contrast to the fact that animals cannot consume large amounts of feed, their body's need for energy increases. In the last weeks of pregnancy, it is necessary to increase the number of energy-containing components by 25-30%. Then you can prevent a metabolic disorder.

To feed the cow in the second period of dryness was effective, you should increase the amount of protein consumed by 15%. This can be achieved by transferring heifers to more concentrated feed. But it must be remembered that transferring an animal to such feeding in one day is prohibited.

If the diet of the cow did not contain concentrated feed, they are introduced gradually. Begin with one kilogram of concentrate, daily increasing the amount by 0.5 kg for 5 days. Thus, at the time of calving the daily rate of concentrate should be 3-4 kg.

Features of the diet in the second period

Proper feeding is necessary for all cows, but special attention should be paid to heifers: their bodies are least prepared for lactation. So that after calving you do not have to face such complications as ketosis, impaired protein and carbohydrate metabolism and lack of energy, you should include in the diet of cows:

  • 2-3 kg of hay and high-quality haylage;
  • for first heifers - 12-15 kg of feed mixture, which contains from 0.4 g of dry matter per 1 kg;
  • wheat germ, rye and triticale in the amount of 0.5-1 kg per day.

Pay attention to the fact that germinated grain has a positive effect on the development of the fetus, as it contains 6 times more vitamin B. It affects the reproductive functions of the cow and the normalization of metabolism, therefore it is recommended to add the germinated grains to the diet.

The approximate composition of the premix for the second dry period

To make a good premix option for the second dry period is even more difficult than the first, since it is important to take into account even more parameters and nuances. To your chick received all the necessary substances in the right quantity, follow the instructions below.

1 ton of premix for the second stage of dry condition should include the following components: 670 g of zinc, 2340 g of manganese, 160 g of cobalt, 150 g of iodine, 4 g of selenium, 4 billion IU of vitamin A, 222 million IU of vitamin D, 4000 g vitamin E, 1500 g of nicotinic acid and 800 g of biotin.

Nicotinic acid is included in the premix in order to prevent liver degeneration, the appearance of ketosis and increase the intensity of metabolism. Biotin also helps strengthen joints. If you properly feed the cows during the dry period, then both mother and baby will be completely healthy.

We tried to write for you all the nuances of feeding the cows during the dry period, we hope that you received answers to your questions.

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