Feed Strategies for Certain Purchased Feeds and Feed Additives
Strategies to economize feed additive use.
J.W. Schroeder, NDSU Dairy Cattle Specialist Emeritus
Feed additives can raise feed costs by $.02 to $.30 per cow per day. Dairy farmers and nutritionists must correctly position feed additives to economically justify their use. Benefit to cost ratios can vary from 10:1 (anionic salts) to 8:1 (ionophores and zinc methionine) to 4:1 (buffers and yeast) to 3:1 (niacin).
The following table outlines strategies when to include certain purchased feeds in dairy rations. Use it as a guide for your feed additive needs. Work with a trained nutritionist to help fine-tune your ration needs.
|Strategies with additives and purchased feeds.|
|Undegraded protein||Milk yield > 65 lb|
|Animal/fish protein blend (by-pass protein)||Milk yield > 90 lb (Corn based diets)|
|Unprotected fat/oil||Milk yield > 65 lb, thin cows|
|Protected fat||Milk yield > 90 lb, thin cows|
|Chelated/complex minerals||Close-up dry cows, E.T. donor cows (stress conditions)|
|Buffers Early lactation||Wet rations, high corn silage rations|
|Niacin||Close-up dry cows, early lactation, milk yield > 70 lb, ketotic-prone cows|
|Yeast||Close-up dry cows, fresh cows, cows off-feed|
|Anionic Salts||Close-up dry cows|
|Probiotics (Direct Feed Microbials)||Calves on liquid diets, cows off-feed|