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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin

Scribner, Fred H.; Harris, Roy T.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin no. 17: the winter feeding of dairy cows PDF (992.7 KB)

nished if we are to have anywhere near an ideal ration. The silo
solves the problem best and from all points of view silage is to
be preferred. The second choice would be roots. These are quite
satisfactory either alone or as supplementary to silage and by all
means should be more generally used than at present. Lacking
either, it is important to secure similar effects through the grain
ration with the help of alfalfa or clover if available. In this con-
nection oil meal is of great value because of its well-known lam-
tive qualities coupled with its high protein content.
    In the absence of silage or roots a grain ration something like
the following may be used:
        Bran ...............                  40 parts
        Ground oats or barley ......... ...... 20 parts
        Corn meal .......................... 20 pau
        Oil meal ........................... 20 parts
    Constipation is an obstacle to the efficiency of any animal as
well as a menace to its general health. It is surely better to pre-
vent ills by attention to ordinary rules of hygiene than to resort
to the "dope" bottle after the damage is done.
    Most dairymen have found that it pays to make use of the
scales for weighing the grain for each cow and the milk from each
milking. It is usually admitted that occasional weighing is worth
while as showing whether a cow is a "boarder" or not but -oRly
those who have tried it realize the value of a complete milk record
to the feeder. The first symptom of something wrong often
appears on the milk sheet and no one who has had much to do
with a herd needs to be told that in such cases the time to nip
trouble is in the bud.
     Feed to Make Milk. It will be inferred that no hard and fast
rules can be laid down as to mixture or quantities to be fed.
Much must be left to the judgment of the feeder and much
depends upon the individuality of the animal, stage of lactation,
etc. It is a safe rule to feed 10 to 15 pounds of hay, 25 to 45
pounds of silage or 30 to 50 pounds of roots, varying the quantities
according to the size and capacity of the cow. In addition one
pound of the grain mixture should be fed for every three or four
pounds of milk produced. If a cow tends to fall off in produc-
tion without gaining in body weight it would seem that she is
not eating enough but if she gains in weight at the expense of
production it is apparent that she needs more protein, relatively,
in her ration or,-that she is the wrong kind of cow. A good
feeder will not let a cow run down and become too thin. If she
tends to "go too much to milk" she can stand a wider ration, that
is more fattening feeds in proportion to those richer, in protein.
     If we study our cows closely and remember that our "June
 pasture" ideal included also fresh air, pure water, sunshine and
 liberty of movement, we will be able' to realize better results from
 winter dairying than we ever have in the past.

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