Early lactation dairy cows have unique dietary requirements. At this time, their bodies are coming to terms with a recent calving, coming into milk, and reaching peak milk production. This results in a number of demands on the body of the cow and puts her at increased risk of animal health issues.
In order to maintain good animal health and reduce negative financial impacts on your business, plan to feed your early lactation dairy cows a well-planned, balanced ration including probiotics.
Nutrition for early lactation dairy cows
Early lactation is defined as the first hundred days after calving.
During this time, cows will be recovering from calving, and approaching and reaching peak milk production. Dry matter intake will not have reached peak, resulting in an energy deficit that causes the cow to lose body condition.
In order to maintain milk production levels at as high a level as possible, it is important to feed the herd a good quality ration that encourages the consumption of additional dry matter.
In addition, good rumination is crucial, so ensure that you feed a high-quality forage as part of the diet.
Finally, is an important component of the early lactation diet to get right. Aim for a protein content of 17-19%.
Remember to consult your nutritionist, who will help you put together a balanced ration designed to support your herd during this time of high energy demand.
The role of probiotics in early lactation dairy cows
Probiotics help to encourage better rumination in early lactation dairy cows, which in turn helps them perform more strongly in terms of milk production. It also boosts immunity and supports animal health, resulting in animals that spend less time out of the vat with mastitis.
When high-strength probiotics are combined with digestive enzymes and active live yeast, they can help support early lactation cows - keeping the herd healthier, improving and holding production, and reducing expenses on-farm.
How BioPro DFM helps your early lactation herd
BioPro DFM is designed for performance. Containing the ideal combination of 5 strains of beneficial host-specific probiotic bacteria, 5 digestive enzymes and active live yeast, it provides a complete solution for improved farm metrics.
Each dose contains an incredible 36 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria – the highest everyday dose on the market!
To ensure that the bacteria reach the lower gastrointestinal tract where the majority of immune system modulation takes place, our world-leading manufacturers microencapsulate them, enabling them to by-pass the rumen unharmed.
Digestive enzymes are the catalyst for feed breakdown, improving the efficiency of feed conversion and fibre utilisation.
Active live yeast stabilises rumen pH and works synergistically to improve digestion.
Key benefits of BioPro DFM for early lactation herds
- Consistent rumen health and development. Thriving populations of beneficial microflora, along with stabilisation of rumen pH, has been shown in autopsies to lead to better rumen development, which improves feed utilisation.
- Reduced grain inputs required to maintain production. BioPro DFM improves the efficiency of feed conversion, promoting better feed utilisation and saving on grain costs. Supplementary feed reductions of up to 1.5kgs/cow/day with no loss of milk production are not uncommon – a saving which more than covers the cost of BioPro DFM.
- Extension of the milk flow curve. Time at peak milk production can be extended and drop off more gradually, increasing milk volumes produced per season.
- Consistent solids production. Improved or more consistent fat, protein and milk solids tests have been reported.
- Decreased Sub-Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA). Our high-dose yeast stimulates lactate-utilising bacteria, reducing lactic acid build-ups and improving digestion.
- Consistent fertility. Healthier stock are in a better position to produce strong heats and show improved in-calf rates.
- Lower cell count. By improving herd health, milk quality improves - reducing expenses associated with veterinary treatment and saving you time in the shed.
- Reduced antibiotic use. Limiting avoidable antibiotic treatments improves industry sustainability. It is the responsible choice for limiting the evolution of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
- Consistent herd immunity status. By improving overall herd health and immune strength, stock are less susceptible to illness and better able to recover from stress, ill-health, or injury.
- Increased fibre utilisation. Milking cows hold production well during summer as a result of cellulose digesting enzymes and improved cellulose digestion.
- Reduced manure and nitrogen outputs. Damage to pastures can be limited. In addition, negative environmental impacts can be reduced, improving land stewardship, and helping maintain community support for agriculture.
You can order BioPro DFM here
Feeding your herd a carefully planned, balanced ration can help you improve outcomes on-farm. The inclusion of beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes and an active live yeast complement this approach by improving the suitability of the feed mix. This helps you ensure that you’re offering your herd everything it needs to produce well, remain healthy and increase profit on your farm.