Intake consistency a critical factor in reducing feed costs per litre

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Length: 107 words; 1 minutes

TMR mixing

Attention to detail is the key to minimising ration inconsistency, which can negatively impact rumen efficiency, feed costs per litre and herd performance.

Many factors affect whether the ration consumed by the cow consistently matches the ‘theoretical’ formulation. Forage feed value can vary up to 10% across a single clamp face, whilst feed spoilage, overcrowded feeding areas and ration sorting also alter nutrient intake.

Staff can have a substantial impact on the ration, with TMR mixing errors of 5% per feed ingredient reportedly common. Switching from straights to a single custom blend improves accuracy and consistency, cuts storage losses and can lower feed costs per litre.

“Switching…to a single custom blend…can lower feed costs per litre.”

Key facts & figures:

  • 5% reduction in FCE1 can add 0.65ppl to total feed costs on most farms

  • A 2.5% change in silage DM2 can cut daily yields by 1.75 litres/cow

  • Inconsistent nutrient supply can undermine milk quality and fertility

  • Regular silage analysis and good feeding management are critical

  • Include Molale, draff or Traffordgold to reduce ration sorting

  • Replacing straights with a custom blend cuts mixing errors and feed losses

1 Feed conversion efficiency
2 Dry matter

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