Feeding Dairy Cattle

McCandlish, Andrew
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The dairy cow is a more efficient producer of human food than any other domestic animal. For each 100 pounds of digestible nutrients consumed she returns in her milk more than six times as much edible solids as the beef steer or mutton sheep yields in its carcass. As agriculture becomes more intense the farmer has to pay greater attention to economy of production, so it is becoming necessary for him not only to use the most economical type of animal but also to have it producing to the best of its ability.

To insure successful milk production two things are fundamentally necessary, a productive dairy cow and a liberal system of feeding. A good cow will produce well for a considerable time even on poor feed, but this is done at the expense of her own body and so if proper feed is not supplied she must produce less milk than she is really able to do and finally dry oft' when the stores of nutrients in her body are depleted. Lack of suitable feed explains why many cows in the corn belt are not producing well. They are fed on corn stalks and timothy hay with perhaps a little ear or shelled corn; in spite of this they produce wen for a few months after calving, but they soon dry up and arc idle until their next freshening.

For the successful feeding of dairy cows a knowledge is neccesary not only of the food materials required by the animals but also of the various classes and quantities of constituents in the feeds used.

Dairy Husbandry, Animal Husbandry