Fine Tuning Feed Efficiency
Accurate feed intake is crucial to get the actual FE value. Feed refusals should be subtracted as feed is not consumed. Weekly dry matter tests should be carried out on the farm in order to get the correct variation in dry matter intake due to changes in wet feeds as well as precipitation.
Correct for milk components as more nutrients are required as the milk fat and protein content increase. In this section, values reported are based on 3.5 percent fat-corrected milk (3.5% FCM). The formula below can be used.
Equation 1: 3.5% lb FCM = (0.4324 x lb of milk) + (16.216 x lb of milk fat)
Equation 2: 3.5% lb fat and protein-corrected milk (lb) = (12.82 x lb fat) + (7.13 x lb protein) + (0.323 x lb of milk)
On Holstein farms, the general rule of thumb is to add or subtract one pound of milk for every one-tenth percentage point change above or below 3.5% fat test. For example, if a herd averages 69 pounds of milk with a 3.9 percent milk fat test, the estimated pounds of 3.5% FCM would be 73 pounds instead of 69 pounds.