5 Major problems in the feeding of Dairy cows

Feeding of Dairy Cows | Problems | Solutions

5 Major problems in the feeding of Dairy cows
5 Major problems in the feeding of Dairy cows

1. Almost all cows are energy deficient and either fail to reach peak or fail to retain peak for reasonable time. They loose body weight and show difficulty in getting conceived.

2. Vit A deficiency is a possibility with most of the animals as many do not receive green grass. None of the concentrate feed materials contain vitamin A except yellow maize and unless compounded feeds are supplemented with Vit A deficiency is possible

3. Among minerals there is a possibility of excess of calcium as most of the compounded feed contain more than 1.2% calcium. More over farmers are in the habit of supplementing diets with mineral mixtures, high Calcium can interfere with absorption of Zinc & Manganese. Some of the skin and hoof problems can be due to Zinc deficiency. Zn and Manganese also play a major role in fertility. Iodine deficiency is possible in high ranges as constant rain washes away the top soil.

4. Protein deficiency is seen in only calves.

5. There is at present no system for monitoring aflatoxin in cattle feed. Chronic aflatoxcosis affects functioning of lever, lowers immunity leading to higher incidents of diseases especially mastitis.

Extremely low roughage availability except  This is much aggravated during summer season.

Paddy straw is very costly. And most of the farmers give only 1.5 Kg. a day. On the other hand many farmers are liberal in feeding concentrate mixture. Concentrate mixture is soaked in water and fed. This practice reduces saliva secretion and rumen pH drops to dangerously low levels leading to chronic bloat, diarrhea ,low milk fat, liver problems, abomasal shift, and in chronic cases parakerotasis of rumen epithelia and finally off feed.


Marginal farmers will have to continue cow rearing as their main source of income for many more years .Therefore it means improving fodder situation needs attention. Paddy land can be taken on lease and the duration of the crop is only 60 days.

A market for fodder has to be established so that those possessing land but do not like to keep animals can cultivate fodder and sell through milk societies or straight to the farmer.

Total mixed ration appears to be a possible solution to overcome rumen acidosis and better production. Attempts on this aspect to be undertaken in association with non governmental organizations and possible help given.

We need a feed containing less protein but with higher energy levels, Feed standards may need revision for Possibility of incorporating bypass fat and protein in feeds to be thought of. Grain level has to be increased along with addition of buffers to control rumen acidity. Calcium and common salt content in compounded feed needs restriction.

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