1 March 2002

New breed, new feed

SUCKLER cow rations must be reviewed when changing the breed, otherwise efficiency of calf output may be reduced, advises MLCs Duncan Pullar.

"For example, when moving towards 800kg Blonde dAquitaine crosses, from 650kg Hereford x Friesian cows, look at the changing animal and chose an appropriate feeding system for its needs.

"Failing to effectively match feeding to mature body size of cows, leads to both underfeeding of larger stock and overfeeding of smaller animals.

"This can result in serious reductions in the number of calves produced/year, because of poor fertility and inadequate milk production will limit calf growth.

"There is also the economic argument against wasting feed on smaller breeds which get over-fat or having to feed lots of supplements to larger animals." &#42