Raising cows and producing milk is a complex process that raises many questions even for experienced farmers and other livestock specialists. American Dairy Technology experts Ion Moraru and Oleksandr Ovcharenko answered popular questions that come to them in personal messages.
1. What should be the remains on the feed table?
On the farms where we work, fodder remains from 1% to 2%. Residues after feeding a dairy herd of more than 2% are losses for the economy.
2. What treatment protocols should be used in a fresh cow’s group (early post-calving period)?
Most often, we reduce the use of medications during the fresh-cows period by 80%. We even sometimes prohibit treating cows in the after calving period and, surprisingly, this reduces morbidity and culling of fresh cows.
3. Which vending auto calf feeder, which manufacturers can you recommend?
First of all, we never mention any brands. And if you are dealing with purebred Holsteins, you don’t need automatic calf feeder at all. Heifers up to 2 months of age must be raised individually.
4. What kind of heat detection systems can you recommend?
All systems have a margin of error. If you have 1,000 or more milking cows in the herd, this program will not help you, on the contrary, some problems will arise, which will be very difficult to solve later and can be solved without this program, but the investment in the program will already be made.
5. At what age is it better to inseminate heifers?
In order to give an unambiguous answer to this question, it is necessary to analyze the lactation curve of cows of the first lactation directly in your company, since there is no one recipe for everyone.
6. On what day is calf weaning?
There are technological parameters that must be taken into account in the period from the 40th to the 56th day of life, and only then decisions are made. Calves can be weaned between the 49th and 63rd day of life.
7. Is it true that in America you don’t have to milk the first streams of milk?
Nowadays, they (first streams) are not milked almost anywhere.
8. What additives to the ration of cows are used on successful farms in the USA?
There are no additives, anionic salts, commercial fats, urea, hepatoprotections or energy boosters in the diet. The main thing is to properly balance the ration.
9. What is the life expectancy of cows on farms in the USA?
Cows live a long time; we must stop believing in myths that cows do not live long on American farms. They live there for more than 4 lactations and then sell them to other farmers. Only inept management shortens the lives of cows on the farm.