Feeding your cows
To make lots of good milk, dairy cows need a varied and balanced diet, including energy, quality concentrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, and plenty of clean water. Supplements from Cooper-K Brands improve the quantity and quality of milk.
When feeding your cow, give a mix of half of dry feeds and half of fresh fodder.
Fresh fodders are mainly green forages such as Napier grass, Lucerne and sweet potato vines among others. They usually contain a lot of water.
- Do not feed freshly cut grass to your cow. Cut fresh fodder and leave in a dark place for a day to wilt, then chop into 2 inch (5cm) pieces to make it easy for your cow to eat. This will avoid feed wastage.
- A dairy cow should be given 15-20 kg of chopped forage per day, preferably in two splits i.e. one in the morning and the other in the evening.
Dry feeds include materials such as Wheat Straw, Rice Straw, Maize Stover and other vegetable by products.
They are best fed by first soaking in water or molasses in case of straw and also poor quality hay.
Mix one part of fresh fodder with one part of dry fodder e.g. 1 sack of chopped Napier plus 1 sack of chopped maize stover.
Protein and supplements
Calliandra is a good source of protein. Your cow uses protein for building the body and producing lots of good quality milk.
5 kilograms of Calliandra per day is enough protein for your cow. If your cow cannot get enough protein from feeds, give it dairy meals and use a supplement like Kupakula.
Dairy meal will provide the cow with vitamins, energy and protein in a balanced way, so that the cow produces good milk and keeps a healthy body weight. Unga Farm Care (EA) recommends feeding your cow 1 kg of Fugo Dairy Meal for every 2 litres of milk the cow gives you above the first 5 litres.
For cows giving 5-10 litres of milk per day, give 400 grams of Kupakula. Give half in the morning and half in the evening.
For cows giving more than 10 litres, add 400 grams per day for every extra 5 litres of milk above 10 litres. So for 20 litres, give 1.2 kilograms per day.
Vitamins and Minerals
Giving your cow minerals will make your dairy business better. Your cow will come on heat 60 days calving so you can get a calf a year. Minerals are also good for milk production and body condition. Powder minerals, like Maclik Plus and Maclik Super from Coopers are good for adult cows. Mix the minerals with the feed.
For heifers and dry cows in calf. Give 100 grams(½ a glass) of Maclik Plus every day
For milking cows. Give 200 grams( 1 full glass) of Maclik Super ever day.
Plenty of clean water
Milk uses a lot of water. You need to give the cows plenty of clean water every day. Empty the trough every 3 days and add clean water. This stops disease.
For more information on feeding your dairy cow, contact our mobile service iShamba.