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With the increasing pressure placed on genetic improvement and productivity traits, and the increasing dimension and intensification in present dairy production, cows are changing and subject to more stress than before. Mineral and vitamin nutrition play an important role in dairy production. The new line of ISF minerals was developed according to the latest information available having in mind the maintenance of healthy and productive cows and profitable farms.
All minerals in this line, when fed at the recommended feeding rate, will supplement the base diet with the required quantities of the major minerals, Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium and will provide all the trace minerals and vitamins needed for milk production. Herbs and Spices flavouring has been included in all ISF products with the name Herbageum to help improve palatability and rumination.
|Specially formulated for dairy milking cows diets based on corn silage and/or low calcium grass or cereal forages. It has a higher content in calcium than W-10, making it more adapted to this type of diets, where low calcium forages are predominant.
|Specially formulated for dairy milking cow diets based on Corn Silage. Its higher content in calcium will correct the naturally poor levels of calcium in Corn Silage.
|Provides a 1:1 ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus for dairy milking cow diets based on Legumes, in the form of hay or haylage. Legumes are naturally richer in Calcium hence the lower level of calcium in this mineral.
|Dry cows have specific needs, especially in the balance between Calcium and Phosphorus. W-16 is formulated to address these needs.
These minerals can be combined with the ISF Special Products line to address specific situations. Here are some examples. The list of combinations is vast.
|W-10 or W-15 +
|This combination is ideal for any stress situation: fresh cows, heat stress, high grain diets, high milk production. Adding Yeastpro to the already high nutrient base provided by W-10 or W-15 will provide Yeast, Organic Zinc, Niacin and extra Vitamins.
|W-10 or W-15
|This combination is ideal when you have to feed less forage or higher grain quantities. These situations increase the risk of acidosis. Bufferpac, with its combination of buffer substances will help to keep the rumen pH under its normal levels. You can also use this combination in fresh cows diets, to help them adapting to the increased amount of grain in their diets and also supply extra magnesium and sodium.
|This combination makes an excellent close-up mineral for pre-calving cows. The Yeast will help prepare the rumen to the increased grain in the diet, and the other ingredients in Yeastpro will help in different ways the cow to cope with this challenging phase of her life.
All these minerals are available with and without Salt
and also different types of additives.
Consult your ISF agent for additional feeding program information.
Forage testing: try as much as possible to test the forages your cows are eating. This can save you money and improve milk production and rumen health. Take good, representative samples of the feeds to test. For example to take a sample from a bunk silo, either take a couple of bucket loads of silage from the bunk and mix it in the TMR mixer and get a sample from the mix, or take several separate samples from the front of the bunk, mix them together and obtain a final sample.
Sorting behavior: feed sorting occurs whenever the cows eat a different diet than the one that was formulated. Why is sorting an undesirable thing? Because sorting can originate acidosis. Decreased feed intake and erratic feed consumption patterns are the first signs of acidosis in a herd. Reduced feed intake will be associated with reduced cud-chewing and lower milk production. A milk fat depression may or may not occur. During bouts of acidosis, fecal consistency becomes more fluid. Cows often experience laminitis. Try to avoid using feeds too different in size. If you are using dry hay or straw make sure they are chopped with a regular size. If the diet is too dry, add some water, liquid feeds like molasses, or wet by products, like brewers grain or wet distillers.
Water availability: water is the most important nutrient for dairy cattle. Water quality is an important issue in the production and health of dairy cattle. Factors typically considered in water quality evaluation include odor and taste, physical and chemical properties, presence of toxic compounds, concentration of macro-and micro-minerals, and microbial contamination. Length of water troughs should be 2 inches per cow (5 cm) with an optimal height of 24 to 32 inches (60 to 80 cm). Reducing the height 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) may be logical for smaller breeds like Jerseys. Water depth should be a minimum of 3 inches (8 cm) to allow the animal to submerge its muzzle 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm). Provide at least one watering device for every 15 to 20 cows, or a minimum of two foot (60 cm) of tank space per 20 cows. Given the choice, cows will consume large amounts of their daily water consumption needs immediately after milking. Cows should never have to walk more than 50 ft (15 m) to get a drink of water. Place water sources in close proximity to the feed bunk. These sources should be protected from the sun. Cleanliness is crucial! Troughs or tanks that can be drained or dumped easily to make the cleaning process quicker and more effective are key.
Grain processing: cereal grains in dairy cows diets must be processed. In many farms is not uncommon to see dry corn just cracked in 5 or 6 different parts. This is not fine enough for cows to make good use of the energy present in the grain. An important part of it will go through the manure. Here is an example of the importance of particle size of corn in milk production and dry matter intake:
|Form of presentation
We can see that ground corn versus just cracked corn is 2 litters per cow per day! The same applies to high moisture corn. The drier it is the finer it must be. The wetter, the coarser it can be.
Transition cows (3 weeks before calving to 3 weeks after calving): these are special needs cows. Talk to your ISF agent to help you design a good feeding transition program and to use the products ISF has available for this purpose. Don’t forget: prevention is always the best approach!
Moisture testing of feeds on farm: knowing the dry matter of the feeds cows are eating is very important. You can check the dry matter of the wet feeds you have (or of the total TMR diet) easily with either a Koster tester, or a microwave. The Koster Crop Tester consists of a heater/fan drying unit, a screen-bottomed sample container and a simple spring scale. Feed DM content is determined by filling the sample container with a fixed amount of that feed, then drying to a constant dry matter percentage. No calculation is required since the scale is calibrated in percentage units for both dry matter and moisture content. If you want information on how to use a microwave just ask your ISF agent and he’ll provide you with the information.
Quality forages – remember that forages are the most important feeds on a dairy farm. Because modern dairy production is based in ensiled feeds, all the ensiling procedures to attain a good fermentation must be followed. ISF recommends SILO GUARD for this purpose. Silo Guard is a silage and hay additive known to help improve hay and silage quality, palatability, and silage bunklife. Ask your ISF agent how and where to use it for best results.