- Jin Gan
Achieving 30,000 Pounds of Milk Production
It is every farmer's goal to try to increase the milk production as it directly impacts the profitability of a farm. A herd of cows producing an average of 30,000 pounds might sound like a fantasy but it has been done before. Here are some of the ways to help you achieve that goal:
No great mission is ever accomplished by the effort of a single person. It takes a team that is willing to work hard together towards achieving the predetermined goal - producing 30,000 pounds of milk. A good company culture is required to ensure all the team members are working harmoniously and that the team members take pride in what they do.
Implementing New Technology
With improved technology available in the market, it is important the the farmer invests and implement new and innovative technologies to the farm. By constantly improving the efficiency of the farm, the milk production level is bound to increase.
Experimenting With Different Nutrition Ration
It is vital to continuously try to improve the nutrition program for the cows. While the math of nutrition is important, do not neglect the biological significance of the nutrients. For example, it has been observed that adding specific fatty acids during dry and transition periods followed by feeding omega 3 fatty acids during lactating period improves the reproduction of the animals.
Even a small improvement during the early stage of lactation translate into significantly more milk for the entire duration of lactation phase.
Ensure Cows Are Comfortable
One of the things that you must absolutely do right if you want to increase milk production is to ensure the cows are comfortable. Therefore, it is vital to continuously reflect and strive to improve the cows'living condition. If cows are comfortable, they will most likely produce more milk and thus increasing the farm's profitability.
Fresh Cows Must Hit Their Peak
The pace of entire herd depends on the fresh cows. The first 60 days post calving is the most crucial period for the cows' lactation. Hence, it is essential to have an effective fresh cow program.
While reducing metabolics is important, it is equally important to utilise technology to drive production for fresh cows. This has become a weak spot for most farms as they usually define success in transition only as a function of metabolics recorded.
For a herd to average 30,000 pounds of milk, the fresh cows need to peak at 110 pounds or more assuming that the herd consist of 35% heifers. Alternatively, mature cows need to have about 116 - 117 pounds and heifers 104 - 105 pounds. Therefore, when the heifers under-perform, the cows have to pick up the slack.
For a herd to average 35,000 pounds of milk, mature cows would need to peak at 132 pounds whereas for heifers, it would be 121 pounds.
With a good reproduction program, pregnancy rates should be at high 20s or at 30%
Observe and evaluate how many days it takes to catch cows that are not pregnant. If the cows are caught on the next 21-day heat cycle, the herd should be on track to achieve higher pregnancy rates. However, if it takes 40 days or more before the cows are caught and re-synched, then there is room for improvement.
Nutrition will have a much higher impact on herd with good reproduction program compared to herd with low pregnancy rates. Therefore, it is important to ensure there is an excellent pregnancy program for the cows.
Investing In Calves
Without paying attention on the calves, it would be impossible to achieve 30,000 pounds of milk production as everything begins at birth.