Determining the dung

Every day the cow reports what is happening in the digestive tract by leaving dung behind in the paddock. You as farmer can determine the health of the digestive system by looking at the consistency of the manure every day.ObservationsThe cow dung shows how well the current ration is being digested by the cow. When looking at the dung, look at the texture, colour and shape. You can see how much fibre is coming through and if there are any undigested feed parts in the dung. At times you can see an oily colour usually after rainfall. All these factors tell a story.ScoringWe are not the first that came up with the idea of looking at the manure and over time there has been a scoring system implemented to standardise manure consistency and give it a number between one and five to help describe what the manure looks like. Score 1 is very loose and watery looking manure where Score 5 is thick manure full of fibre in a heap of at least 3.5 centimetres high.DiagnosisWhen you are unsure about what the manure is telling you about your ration and the effect it has on the digestive system of your herd, please talk to your Milkmap consultant.When manure is loose and watery it can mean several things; an excess of protein in the diet, there are toxins (like mould/ yeasts/ endophytes), you have a sick animal (for example: Johnes) or acidosis.When manure is thick and fibrous there is not enough protein in the ration and you are limiting the cow’s production potential. The cow is using the fibre energy to build condition rather than put it in the milk vat, which without additional protein in the ration, she cannot do.A picture tells more Score 1Score 2Score 3Score 4Score 5 Score: oilScore: Bubbles Score Mucus   ConclusionPasture is always changing, from paddock to paddock and from spring to summer to autumn and into winter. The quality changes every time, which affects the animals and their digestive system. As the pasture is continuously changing, keep looking at the manure, which should stay the same when the cows’ digestion is consistent and healthy. If manure changes, ask your Milkmap consultant about what it means and how it affects your productivity and profitability.        

Become a Better Farmer

Take a couple of days offWe know dairy farming is an industry of opportunity and challenge; so, it makes sense to seize any opportunity you can to increase your farming pro ts and poten al.  Reinforce your dairy farming arsenal through a unique forum, which provides access to the latest in-depth industry insights, methods and educa on. A er all, Rome wasn’t built in a day; but with our exclusive Dairymasters seminar you’ll be well on your way to a farming empire in just two fact-frenzy days, designed to make you a master of your trade. Over two days this exclusive Dairymasters module covers a breadth of fundamental dairy farming topics, including: Ration Balancing & Mineral Supplementation Dry matter intake and its relationship with cows. Pasture Utilisation& Nutrients A masterclass in grass Calf & Heifer Rearing  Getting cows in calf & reproductionProfitable Feeding Strategies Using the right mix of feed to maximise livestock production Understanding Cow Nutrition Nutrient and feed functions Profit & Business Goals  Controlling, planning and influencing profits  14th & 15th March 2018 from 9am to 4.30pm Lunch and refreshments provided. Take home folder of comprehensive course notes. Price : $975 plus GST  RSVP:  office@milkmap.nz or call 0800 662 667 by 28th February and receive a 10% discount. Call now to seize this exclusive two-day opportunity!DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE  

Peak & mating package

Can you afford to let this predicted $6.50+ payout slide by with average cow performance and reproduction results similar to last year? What would an improvement in these areas mean for your farm? Comprehensive Advice and Planning to: Optimize the peak production and reproduction potential of your herd Milkmap is pleased to offer a short term nutritional, mineral and pasture management package to help your farm capitalise on this predicted payout. This package will deliver an comprehensive nutritional, mineral and pasture management plan that is specific to your situation and farm goals. You will have a consultant visit your farm to discuss the challenges, goals, and strategies that can be implemented heading forward. Following the visit you will receive a comprehensive report and sensitivity analysis. Another 2 visits will ensure that the animals are performing as expected and mating is gearing up, and going smoothly. View the flier here

Phosphorus Deficency

Phosphorus (P) is the mineral most frequently associated with infertility in dairy cows.Under normal conditions, a P deficiency in dairy cows will result in:Poor appetitePoor production,Pica (craving /eating of abnormal materials)Reproductive disturbances/ infertility. A moderate deficiency in P may be associated with cows not conceiving when mated, while a more severe deficiency can extend postpartum anestrus (non-cycling activity post calving) due to inactive ovaries. Download the Entire Article here >>​

Phosphorus Overview

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the animal body, with about 80% found in the bones and teeth (Suttle, 2010). The primary role of P is not surprisingly, the formation and maintenance of bone structure. P is stored in bones at a 2:1 ratio with Ca. Think of bricks and mortar, with P being the mortar. One is not stored without the other, and without adequate supply of either mineral, then bone maintenance/ mineralisation will not occur (Horst, 1986).The remaining 20% of P, is widely distributed in the fluids and soft tissues of the body where it has many functions which include, but are not limited to, energy utilisation and transfer, a component of DNA structure, fatty acid transport and protein synthesis (Suttle, 2010).Continued .. (Prepared by Cameron Burton)​

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