Energy Feeds International is just one of several companies that specialize in producing high quality cow-cattle feed. We have competitors all over the world. Not only that, but some ranchers and dairy farmers prefer to create their own feed. With so many options, one cannot help but wonder about the keys to producing high quality feed.

A general rule of thumb in our industry is that the quantity and quality of certain ingredients directly impact the quantity and quality of the dairy products a farmer ends up with on the other end of the equation. If you want a high volume of quality milk, you need a cow-cattle feed with the right quantities of the right ingredients.

The Concept of Nutritional Balance

We are pretty familiar with the idea of humans consuming a nutritionally balanced diet. The same principle applies to producing cow-cattle feed. Dairy cows require a balanced diet to produce high quality milk. Their nutritional requirements include protein, carbohydrates, water, and a selection of minerals in vitamins. Their food also needs to provide adequate energy to fuel milk production.

It is possible to optimize nutrient intake and rumen function with a state-of-the-art feeding system. A good example is a Total Mixed Ration (TMR) system that guarantees cows get the perfect balance of nutrients with every bite.

Feed Quality and Intake

Just like humans, cows can eat too much. The amount of feed dairy cows consume impacts milk production in both directions. More feed generally leads to higher production. And yet overeating can have the opposite effect. It can lead to detrimental health impacts that ultimately reduce production.

In addition to feed quantity, cow-cattle feed producers need to pay attention to feed quality. It is important that we utilize high quality forage and concentrates in order to maximize energy efficiency and nutritional intake. When the quality of the feed is good, milk yield tends to follow.

More Specific Considerations

Nutritional balance, feed quantity, and ingredient quality are all pretty broad concepts when it comes to producing quality cow-cattle feed. But feed producers generally dig deeper. There are more specific considerations we need to pay attention to. Here are just a small handful:

  • Fermentable Carbohydrates – Fermentable carbohydrates play a direct role in determining the amount of milk fat contained in a sample. Dairy farmers tend to prefer diets higher in these carbohydrates for this reason. They also prefer feeds with low fat content – because fat-rich feeds have the opposite effect on milk fat content.
  • Fatty Acids – The volume of fatty acids in cow’s milk affects both taste and nutritional value. With that in mind, producers of cow-cattle feed need to be mindful of their fatty acid profiles. We need to be aware of any ingredients that can affect fatty acid composition.
  • Protein Intake – Consistently producing high volumes of quality milk relies on maintaining good health. That is where protein intake comes in. Dairy cows require significant amounts of protein to stay healthy. Healthy cows produce more quality milk.

Cow-cattle feed producers can only do so much to help farmers and ranchers produce quality products. The farmers and ranchers themselves have a role to play as well. For example, lactation stage matters when determining which feed to use on a particular day. Cows have different nutritional requirements at different stages of lactation.

Hopefully, we have given you a good idea of the most important factors that go into producing a quality cow-cattle feed. What we do is very much based in science. But we also recognize that there is a certain art to producing feeds that promotes good health and production.