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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Minimize Variation in Your TMR

As published in Progressive Dairyman, researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted a study to determine how variation in TMR quality affects the feeding behavior of dairy cattle. The nine-day study focused on the responses of 32 seven-month-old Holstein heifers to simulated variation in TMR quality along the length of the feedbunk as well as unexpected changes in TMR quality between days.

Based on the results of their study, the researchers concluded the following:

  • The response of cattle to variation in TMR quality is to change the way they explore their feeding environment.
  • Heifers will spend more time grazing the feedbunk when TMR quality is lower than they had previously experienced, moving more between feeding locations and spending less time at each location.
  • Competitive interactions between heifers become more frequent when TMR quality is not uniformly distributed along the feedbunk as cattle strive to obtain access to the highest-quality feed.
  •  To help promote more efficient feeding behavior, variation in TMR energy density between and within days should be minimized. 
Learn more about this study here.

Source: Marina von Keyserlingk and Dan Weary, "Why dairy cattle graze the bunk: The effects of variation in TMR quality on feeding behavior," Progressive Dairyman, February 11, 2013: 118-119.

Patz Vertical Mixers Deliver a Thorough, Consistent TMR that Cattle Love!
But don't just take our word for it...SEEING IS BELIEVING!

"The cows used to leave some hay behind. Now there's no wasted hay, no sorting, and the cows eat more. It (Patz Mixer) is worth everything it cost. We wouldn't do without it."

(L to R) Mike Taylor & Ross Putney of Taylor Valley View Farm
Dairy Operation in Washington, VT
Patz 800 Series Vertical Mixer

Patz Mixer Days is going on now through July 15, 2013*! 
Ask your local Patz Mixer Dealer for a demo or more details!
*The Patz Mixer Days Promotion is offered to North American residents only. Please click here for promotion details.

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