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Short Of Silage For Spring Calvers?

12 February 2018

If you are short of silage for spring calvers calving from March onwards then one approach could be to –

  • Pull out late calving cows into a separate group and put them onto a straw plus concentrate ration as they will still be 3 or more months off calving.
  • The problem of doing this is identifying late calvers.  If, when the herd was PDd the scanner gave an estimate of expected date of calving this will be reasonably straight forward.  However where this information is not available another option is simply to base the group on the last cows to calve, last year.
  • The early calving cows can then be fed more silage and will require less concentrates, hopefully avoiding big calves and calving difficulties. For example if a quarter of the herd are pulled out as late calvers then the silage they would have eaten can be fed to the others, giving them 33% more per head per day compared with feeding silage to all the herd.

Basil Lowman,

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