How to improve the production of a dairy cow
Increasing and maintaining high milk production rates are issues of vital importance for the survival of a dairy farm . While certified and standard organic milk producers vehemently disagree over the use of hormones to increase milk production, a number of other, natural methods can be employed. When it comes to improving milk production, we must work towards creating an environment that is as clean, healthy and stress-free for livestock, as possible. In this article we explain some tips on how to improve the production of a dairy cow.
- Artificial lighting for the barn
- Industrial fans
- Bovine growth hormone (eg, rBST, rBGH)
One of the actions that can be carried out is to increase the period of time that dairy cows are exposed to light, by using artificial light at night. In some cases, milk production could increase up to 8 percent with the use of artificial light at night.
To improve the production of a dairy cow, it is recommended to increase the frequency of milking. For example, you can milk dairy cows three times a day instead of twice. Lactating cows will increase their milk production to meet the demands of the new schedule.
The feeding will be one of the fundamental factors in the improvement of the milk production. In this way, it should be noted that minerals play a key role in the nutrition of cows, since they are required in the biological synthesis of essential nutrients. The indispensable minerals in the feeding of a dairy cow will be: calcium, phosphorus, iron, cobalt, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine and selenium.
Also, it is recommended to feed the cows with more protein if the milking schedule is increased. Fodders will be one of the main sources of proteins for dairy cows; although it is noteworthy that they can only eat a certain amount daily. Therefore, concentrates can be added to the feed ration to complement the energetic contribution and improve milk production. Normally, the maximum amount of concentrates that a cow can receive each day should not exceed 12 or 14 kg.
You will need to provide dairy cattle with clean and adequate beds, and a significant amount of outdoor grazing time. This will maintain the health of the livestock and reduce their stress levels.
Reducing stress for dairy cattle will also be very effective and will increase milk production. For this, it will be necessary that the cows have a correct ventilation and cooling. If necessary, large industrial fans can be located inside your barn on hot, humid days.
Also, giving your dairy cattle the recommended dose of bovine growth hormone, such as rBST, or rBGH hormone, can increase milk production by up to 10 percent, according to the North Carolina State University - Faculty of Agriculture and Science of the life. The use of these hormones is illegal in dairy farms that have been certified as organic, and their use in general has been decreasing. Milk producers should be aware that although the use of these hormones is legal, more and more consumers are opting for hormone-free milk.