December Plan for Winter Feeding

Front Door Elevator Feeding Out

At this time of year work load increases as animal are housed. It is very important to keep ahead of any potential issues that occur during the winter. 

5 point plan for December

  1. Animal Health
    • Vaccinate where appropriate to prevent issues later during the calving season.
    • Follow appropriate dry cow therapy.
    • Monitor cows regularly to assess for dry cow mastitis.
    • Ensure all stock are dosed for fluke, worms and lice.
    • Good ventilation, water and adequate social space are so important.
    • Dry off cows in poor condition to allow time to recover.
    • Footbath regularly to prevent mortellaro.
  2. Feed Budgeting
    • Assess fodder stock levels.
    • Assess total animal requirements for the winter.
    • Assess fodder quality.
    • Bridge and shortfalls with other quality forages or purchased concentrates.
  3. Nutrition Plan
    • Once you know the quality and quantity of fodder available speak to your nutritionist to formulate balanced diets.
    • Ensure feed is fed fresh daily and rejected feeds are passed to lower demanding stock.
    • When using your Abbey Feeder load the ingredients in the correct order (e.g. long fibre first) and mix for the correct length of time to avoid over processing.
    • Do a maintenance check on the Abbey Feeder (oil levels, grease appropriately, PTO’s in good working order, full complement of sharp blades etc). Refer to your operations manual.
    • High fibre diets (with appropriate protein and energy) suit the dry cow period.
      Tri Auger Diet Feeder

      Tri Auger Diet Feeder

  4. Stock Management
    • Monitor performance (weigh batches monthly to see if on target)
    • Walk through stock daily to ensure all are healthy.
    • Get your vet to assess stock at various points during the feeding season.
    • Condition score stock and feed appropriately.
  5. Monitor cow signals
    • Cow gait while walking.
    • Numbers lying down and chewing cud (should be 70% at any given time).
    • Cow manure structure tells if animal’s digestive performance is going to plan.
    • Rumen fill tells if animals are healthy and if they are being fed adequately.

      Abbey Vertical VF2850