Maximise Energy Intake this Winter

5th November 2013

Maximise Energy Intake this Winter

With a buoyant milk price, it is important that producers look to maximise milk sales this winter. This is the view of Stephen Agnew, from Devenish Nutrition who suggests that this is not the winter to be holding cows back by restricting energy intake.

“2013 has seen many cows grazed well into the autumn months, which although benefitting producers through reduced silage intake, some cows are now displaying visual signs of negative energy balance which is coming to the fore through sub-optimal body condition score.”

“It will pay producers to feed more kilos of concentrate this winter, with even a 1:1 response of milk to concentrate yielding a profit. The message should be simple, maximise energy intake, but do it safely so that cows remain healthy”.

To achieve this high energy intake it is imperative that cows receive the optimum level of cereal. This will vary depending on the type and quality of forage being fed. For instance high cereal diets combined with wet forage will yield problems associated with sub-acute rumen acidosis (SARA), however diets containing low levels of cereal with low D-value forage will promote little forage fibre digestion within the rumen.

Alternatively high levels of protected fat can be fed to maximise energy density, with products such as Megalac providing a source of by-pass energy which will not expose the rumen to any further risk of SARA.

Mr Agnew also recommends feeding DeviCell live yeast this winter with research showing that DeviCell can increase fibre digestion and help to alleviate pressure from SARA, which is of particular importance when cows are being fed high levels of concentrate

DeviCell Live Yeast has shown responses in terms of increased milk yields by 2 litres per cow per day (Fig. 1) with milk protein yields also showing responses of 3.9% (Fig. 2).

Milk table

For more information on DeviCell please contact Devenish Nutrition on 0044(0)2890755566

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