The pursuit of maximising milk yield during the lactation period in dairy herds is a top priority for dairy farmers. The foundational steps taken in the weeks immediately following calving can significantly impact the entire lactation process. In this two-part series, we delve into the pivotal role of LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™, with a focus on successful calving and optimal conditions for enhanced milk production. As the name suggests, LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™ is designed to be fed in the lead up to calving.
During late pregnancy, careful management of transition feeding ensures that the dairy cow receives the right balance of nutrients so she can make the ‘transition’ to lactation with minimal difficulty and complications during calving. This helps to minimise the loss of body condition before and after giving birth and, very importantly, avoid the debilitating and costly development of milk fever. The three weeks prior to calving is an important period of change and adjustment for a pregnant dairy cow. During this time the foetus is growing rapidly and major shifts in hormones and metabolism occur. Therefore, the feeding plan needs to factor in this prepartum nutrition.
Understanding the inclusion of Bio-Chlor™ in Milne LeadFeed:
Bio-Chlor™ is a patented feed supplement for prepartum transition cows providing a source of degradable protein and dietary anions that deliver a negative DCAD. As a palatable anion source, Bio-Chlor™ drives bacterial growth to support rumen function, optimise metabolisable protein, leading to better health, better productivity and lactation longevity. Bio-Chlor™ stands out as a synthetic protein supplement designed to optimise the nutritional balance crucial for dairy cows during their transition period.
Why opt for LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™?
The investment in LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™ is a strategic move for dairy farmers. By aiding in maintaining the cow's condition, and minimising stress during the critical transition phase, LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™ ensures a robust start to lactation yields.
Additionally, beyond the financial gains, there's a vital consideration for animal welfare. Stressful interventions during calving, such as packing cows or using high-risk methods to assist in calving, not only endanger the animals but also elevate stress levels for both animals and handlers. The need for more labour-intensive practices further emphasises the strain on resources during critical calving periods. The inclusion of Bio-Chlor™ in the prepartum diet can help to avoid these situations and reduce the number of difficult calvings.
Achieving the optimal dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) plays a pivotal role before, during and after calving. An optimum DCAD range before calving mobilises calcium into the bloodstream. This not only prevents milk fever during calving but also crucially assists in preserving the cow's body condition. This directly impacts milk production from the outset and sustains higher yields throughout lactation, increasing each milking session by 1-2 litres.
The Bio-Chlor™ in LeadFeed with Bio-Chlor™, is a palatable anionic source of protein that stands out for its unique ability to consistently acidify a cow's system. Unlike anionic salts or premixes, the easily digestible nature of Bio-Chlor™, combined in our palatable, easy-to-eat pellet, keeps cows eating, resulting in higher initial milk yields. This initial boost then translates into sustained higher yields throughout the lactation period, offering a substantial return on investment.
Proven Results and Considerations:
Published, peer-reviewed trials conducted by Dr Ian Lean in NSW, with herds utilising LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™, showcased an impressive 600-700 litre lactation increase per cow, surpassing those fed with standard feed containing just anionic salts.
For further reading, the Dairy Australia Transition Cow Management book is a great resource.
In Part 2 of this series, we will explore post-calving strategies and the continued impact of LeadFeed+ Bio-Chlor™ on sustaining high milk yields when used in conjunction with our range of dairy pellets, available exclusively at Milne Feeds.