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Ausmix Feed Mixer

Feeding With Total Mixed Rations for Dairy farms

Feeding a TMR diet is a great way to make sure the cow has access to mixed foods all day. When this happens, it helps improve fermentation and milk production through consistency in nutrients found in different parts of their rumen. However, when not used properly or inconsistently, feeding with TMR can have negative effects on health and milk production due to inconsistencies within ingredients that are fed by the animal itself. Cows need to feed consistently for best results!

Things to monitors with TMR:

  • Dry matter or moisture content 
  • Amount of TMR consumed
  • Amount of each feed in a TMR batch 
  • Particle side being fed
  • Consistency of the particle size of the TMR being mixed

Changes in Dry matter content and wet byproducts

To maximize the nutrient content of your cows, you should monitor their feed to make sure it is not too wet. Wet mixes can result in lower milk production or increased health problems for your cows. And if there’s been a rainy period- like after half an inch – and the dry matter content has decreased then that mix needs to be monitored more closely because changes in these feeds will affect how much nutrients they are getting from those types of food sources which may lead them into poor health. 

Amount of TMR Consumed 

In order to manage the feed bunk effectively, a daily log should be kept that shows how much each person feeds and what’s leftover in their absence. This becomes extremely important when more than one person is feeding milk cows as it helps them balance their own rationing with other people’s contributions.

Amount of feed in a TMR batch 

Milking cows need quality feed available 20 hours of the day, so it’s important for their TMR to be as close to them as possible. Feed needs to be pushed up in front of them and should always leave 5% left over at each feeding because that encourages hungry cows who will eat more when they are offered food again.

The TMR formula should only change by a small percentage, or the cows will get too much grain and not enough forage. Adding more of one food item just because they ate less than usual is counterproductive as it may result in an imbalance with that same food group.

Increasing the amount of cattle feed has to be done carefully so you don’t overfeed them on something like grains which can cause digestive problems. Be sure to monitor what’s being eaten before adding new feeds into their diet!

Increasing or decreasing the amount of TMR offered can be a tricky process because it often means changing forage, grains and concentrates. One way to make this transition is by increasing or reducing feedings per cow in order to get closer back to the desired number without having an unbalanced ratio that will only hurt your production efficiency while also risking health problems.

Particle size being fed 

Cows need to consume adequate amounts of forages or fibre in their TMR so that they can regurgitate the feed, chew cud and produce saliva which helps buffer the rumen environment. Studies show that cows chewing on cud may secrete 5-6 pounds of drool each day. When farmers balance rations for dairy cows, they try to provide enough effective fibres called “chew factor” because when there are long particles present in a cow’s stomach it will be able to stimulate them into producing more saliva during the digestion process.

When a TMR mix is overmixed, the particle size of forages decreases. This in turn decreases chewing time and saliva production which may lead to an increased incidence of problems such as ruminal acidosis (too much stomach acid), laminitis (foot issues) or displaced abomasum (a twisted gut). Generally, most models of TMR need only three to six minutes of mixing time.

Consistency 

It is imperative that the TMR mixer be functioning adequately and consistently to ensure feed quality. A way to test this in a timely manner would be by collecting samples of freshly delivered feed at several different locations on the bunk for comparison purposes, such as at the beginning, middle, and end of the delivery sequence.

A TMR mixer can greatly help producers deliver high-quality feed to their cattle, so choosing the right mixer with the proper size and configuration is critical for success. 

For a reliable, durable feed mixer designed for Australia’s livestock, choose Ausmix. Our feed mixers are custom engineered for tough Australian conditions and loved by dairy farms and even more advanced operations all across our country.

If you’re interested to learn more about the AusMix feed mixer range, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team on (02) 8880 7873 or send us an email at sales@farmtech.com.au

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