Managing Cow Lactation Cycle (Part 2)
From calving to peak lactation
Milk yield at peak of lactation cycle will set up potential milk production for the year.
1 extra kg per day at peak can produce an extra 200kg/cow over the entire lactation cycle.
There are a number of things to consider when feeding the herd early in lactation cycle to maximise the peak.
One of the important thing to look out for is voluntary food ntake.
At calving, appetite is only about 50 - 70% of max peak intake.
This is because during dry period, the growing calf takes up space, reducing rumen volume and density of rumen papillae is reduced.
After calving, it takes time for rumen to stretch and papillae to regrow.
It is not until week 10 - 12 where appetite reaches full potential.
Peak lactation to peak intake
During this period, cows' appetite will slowly increase until they can consume all the nutrients required for production, provided the diet is high of quality.