Feeding fat is very common among dairy farmers. Understand how to feed fat is very important towards the cow's performance. Feeding fats in dairy cows is broken down to 3 areas:
1) Level of fat inherently found in feed ingredients
Forages, grains and other higher fat products such as whole cottonseed, distillers grains and so on have some level of fats found in them.
Most forages and grain will contribute some amount of fat to the diet.
While there is no exact amount, generally 3% of fat in basic part of the ration has been shown to be effective.
2) Secondary fat sources
Secondary fat sources have been shown to further complement this ration requirement.
Fat sources include low levels of certain vegetable oil and tallows.
These secondary fat sources should be included carefully and not overfed.
These fats should not exceed 0.5 to 0.75 pound per head.
3) Rumen bypass fats
More recent efforts include feeding rumen bypass fats, particularly palm fat.
Recommendations could range up to a pound or more per head per day.
Generally, when all these sources of fat are combined, it should not exceed 6% total fat in a given ration.