GREAT Tips for Automatic Feeding of Milking Cows
Nicole Colgren, Dairy Focus Consultant
This article originally appeared in Progressive Dairyman. You can access the full article here.
Robotic milking herds are different than managing a herd that visits a parlor, and I have had the opportunity to work with both styles of dairying. Here in Michigan, I work with five robotic herds, utilizing 25 robots, and have learned that when it comes to feeding robotic herds, the when and how of delivering those nutrients is crucial for success.
Some keys to success for feeding a robotic milking herd can be summed up by the acronym GREAT – goals, robot, energy, adjust and think.
Goals: Be clear about your goals and how you measure success. Not everyone looks at the same metrics, so make sure your nutrition is helping you achieve yours.
Robot: To dispense the proper amount of feed to each cow, the robot must be properly calibrated. If there are any signs of production or health issues, check the calibrations of the robot right away.
Energy: Barn design and cow flow have a significant impact on the feeding program and ultimately designate where and when cows consume most of the energy from the ration.
Adjust: Monitor performance and adjust the ration to ensure the best nutritional strategy to meet the shifting needs of the herd.
Think: Think strategically about which forages to grow on-farm to help meet the nutritional needs of your herd.
Learn more by reading the full article here which originally appeared in Progressive Dairyman.