Lower competition with concentrate feeders

Author: Janine Roemen (ZLTO) - Date: October 29, 2018

In addition to the roughage, concentrates can also be provided at the feed fence. This gives the dairy farmer little insight into the concentrate intake per cow. In addition, dominant cows will displace the young heifers at the feed fence.

 

This has adverse consequences for both; dominant cows will consume more concentrate than they need, resulting in a higher risk of fattening and rumen acidification because the pH drops in the rumen. Heifers who take in too little concentrate feed don’t have enough energy and therefore develop a growth retardation. In addition, a lack of minerals results in a higher chance of a bad start-up after calving.

In a concentrate box, cows can individually pick up their concentrate. These are equipped with cow recognition and can be places in different places in the barn. Each cow carries an identification sensor around his neck and receives the right amount of concentrate. The amount of concentrate is determined on the basis of her milk production, age, BCS and lactation stage.

The concentrate feeder provides insight into the concentrate intake and distributes the intake throughout the day, this helps to prevent rumen acidification. In addition, the concentrate feed can be adjusted automatically per animal and per period. If no feeding takes place, this is also recorded. This can be an early signal for health problems. The concentrate feeder prevents competition, because each cow has access to its own portion of concentrates.