The Importance and Management of Roughage in Breeding Dairy Cattle Businesses
Supply and management of roughage is the most important factor to be considered for animal health and profitability and continuity of the businesses.
Roughage costs seriously increase especially in the last years. Managing these cost increases in the businesses, requires good planning and purchasing strategies. The planning process, includes determining the business needs properly, roughage quality criterias and recruitment time. Determination of these, is going to provide obtaining the most quality roughage with the most relevant cost.
Dairy cattle should practically consume quality roughage (dry clover fodder, dry oat fodder, dry barley fodder, etc.) hundredth of their daily live weights in order to continue their digestion activities smoothly. Recruitment of these dry fodders, can usually be made with the most relevant costs in spring and summer months. The amount of the fodder can annually be calculated as 2,25- 2,5 for each breeding cattle.
Storage of good quality corn silage (min. % 30 KM, min. % 25 starch) is important in summer. While purchasing it, there are some important steps to follow before planting that the product should firstly be observed, the proper time for harvesting should secondly be determined, the corn silage should thirdly be sent to businesses with suitable equipment and the silo should finally be closed as soon as possible. Moreover, the annual amount for corn silage should be 8 tones per breeding cattle. Good quality and sufficient corn silages are going to reduce our costs as the additional cereals (corn, barley, etc.) are being used for daily nutrition of animals.
In recent years, dry fodders such as; clover, barley and triticale, can also be evaluated as silages. Various fodder types can be ensilaged in the regions. These are very important for animal feeding. They can be used for feeding of dairy cattle, heifers and calf. The usage of inoculant and its’ contributions, is highly important while preparing fodder silages in order to increase silage quality.
As mentioned above; the required storage silo fields for roughage should be composed, the roughage should be stocked in dry places and the silage holes should sufficiently be prepared according to the needs of businesses.
A well planned roughage supply and management, is going to avoid unnecessary costs in our business and it is going to enable business profitability and continuity by increasing the milk efficiency which is obtained from 1 kg dry material of the ration.