Incorrect feeding pre and post calving has long term effects

Incorrect feeding pre and post calving can compromise cow and calf health, especially in summer when grass growth is strongest, emphasises agricultural supplier Denis Brinicombe.

Both dairy and Suckler cows should be kept on an actively managed feed regime during this period to reduce complications. Problems ranging from retained placenta to ketosis and fatty live syndrome can occur.

Suckler cows should get in-calf 80 days after calving and should have a condition of 2-2.5 at calving and 2.5-3 at service and this is achieved by good nutrition.

Forage intake

Dairy cows should receive a balanced ration including bulk forage during the dry period. Three weeks prior to calving the ration should contain a lower dry matter intake, supporting rumen bacteria. Low calcium and high magnesium should also be fed.

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