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Dairy could learn from beef feedlots

Corey Geiger, Managing Editor

November 4, 2021

Cows crave consistency.

It’s something that folks running beef feedlots have known for years.

“Beef feedlots know this . . . feed must be delivered within the same 30-minute window each day,” said Mike Hutjens from the University of Illinois.

The longtime feeding guru took the conversation one step further for dairy farmers. “We all know push ups are important. While push ups should take place on two- to four-hour intervals, it’s also a good idea to push up feed one hour before you milk cows.

“That’s because the cows will eat feed that they could not reach before,” he continued in a presentation during the 15th biennial Western Dairy Management Conference on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, in Reno, Nev. “Then, have fresh feed in the bunks right after cows return from milking.”

As for weigh back targets by pen, “1% to 2% would be the goal based on the current high feed prices,” said Hutjens when discussing the lactating herd. “That goal should be stretched to 3% to 5% in the close-up and fresh cow groups,” continued Hutjens.



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