Energy drink for dairy cows: New supplementary feed is on the market
Thanks to constantly improved and adapted nutrition, breeding and management strategies, modern dairy cows are today able to produce large amounts of milk. Up to 50 kilogram of milk per day are quite normal, especially at the start of lactation. However, behind this figure hides an enormous metabolic feat of these animals and the fact that they need to be supplied with an adequate amount of energy at all times. However, especially after calving, high yielding cows are threatened with an energy deficit. Malto Drink, a new product from AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG is to help close this "gap".
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- Anna-Carina Tschöke, product manageress Miravit cattle
What is concealed behind the new supplementary feed for robot and transponder feeding, explains Anna-Carina Tschöke, product manageress cattle, during an interview.
During early lactation, cows mobilise up to two kilogram of body fat a day. How did they so far compensate this enormous effort?
Tschöke: This exertion mostly results in an energy deficit, which so far was to be compensated by the administration of propylene glycol. However, the problem is the tastiness of propylene gylcol - cows simply do not like it. If the concentrated feed is sprayed with it, animals may start to severely select their feed or even ingest less feed. Of course this can even intensify the problem.
What were the alternatives so far?
Tschöke: Many farmers know about the bad acceptance and have started to force feed the cows, i.e. to drench them. However, that is very elaborate for the farmer and not very nice for the animals, even if they benefit from it in the end. Due to the amount of work involved, cows only receive the additional feed for ten to fourteen days. Many farms try to feed it as a pure substance via the milking robot or transponder – and fail because of the animals' non-acceptance.
And where does Malto Drink come into the picture?
Tschöke: We have considered ways to avoid drenching and still be able to supply the animals with the urgently needed energy and have come upon a mixture of maltose, glycerine and propylene glycol. The advantage of this combination is the fact that it is sweet and the animals therefore like its taste and ingest it voluntarily. The ingredient maltose stimulates the microbial activity in the rumen. In addition, the compound is high in energy and can thus help reduce the risk of ketose. First field trials have shown that the improved tastiness also has a positive effect on the frequency with which the feed station is visited and that the animals are fitter, more even-tempered and higher yielding.
How is Malto Drink fed?
Tschöke: Malto Drink has been designed for use at the liquid component dosing feeder of the concentrated feed station or at the milking robot. On the one hand it is possible to feed it to individual animals or on the other hand to feed it as part of the total mixing ration (TMR). Freshly lactating cows should receive 300 to 400 millilitres per day, for old lactating cows, 100 to 200 millilitre are recommended as attractant feed. Malto Drink is supplied in 200 kilogram barrels or 1,000 kilogram containers. The farmer can then fill it into cans that suit his purpose or pump it to the milking robot or transponder by means of a hose.
More information on this product can be obtained from Anna-Carina Tschöke, product manageress cattle at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, Tel. 0173 . 7293226, firstname.lastname@example.org or on the toll-free hotline, Tel. 0800 . 682-1133. Malto Drink is available from AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG as well as from all Raiffeisen network partners with immediate effect under www.miravit.de.