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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Consider these maximums and remember combinations when formulating rations

Dairy Pipeline: April 2003

Charles C. Stallings
Extension Dairy Scientist, Nutrition
(540) 231-4758

When feeding lactating dairy cows it is best to limit amounts of certain feeds. Reasons can be problems with palatability, high oil or fat content, imbalances of certain nutrients and lack of "effective" fiber to stimulate rumination. Knowing these restrictions can prevent problems from occurring. Also combinations of some of these feeds can be a problem if the maximums are used with no regard to type and amount of nutrients that are provided. A good example is use of whole cottonseeds with soybeans. The maximum of each would result in excessive fat in the ration. Also some of these feeds have relatively high fiber levels but it is not "effective" fiber. A certain level of forage fiber should be maintained. This is where your nutritionist can be an asset in identifying optimal relationships with consideration for cost of the ration. Below is a list of some feeds used in Virginia and suggested maximums along with a cause for caution when feeding. Remember these are maximum amounts and not necessarily optimum amounts.

  % of concentrate cow/day reason for caution
Urea 1.5 .4 NPN source
Fish meal palatability 3 1  
Blood meal palatability 3 1  
Tallow source 4 1.5 fat
Molasses, dry content 6 2 sugar
Peanut skins content --- 4 tannin
Bakery waste content Soybean hulls effective fiber --- 4
Wheat middlingsquality 20 5  
Cottonseed hulls content 20 5 energy
Whole cottonseeds content --- 7 oil
Roasted soybeans, rolled content 25 7 oil
Brewers grains, dry fiber 25 7 effective
Distillers grains, dry content 25 7 lysine
Citrus pulp, dry fiber --- 8 effective
Corn gluten feed CP 30 10 degradable
Brewers grains, wet --- 30 effective fiber

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