Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.
Archives

This article was recently published by UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science.

Introduction

Predicting dry matter intake (DMI) of dairy heifers is an important part of dairy heifer nutrition programs, but it has been challenging to estimate for a number of reasons. Recently, over 9000 heifer pen dry matter intakes were collected at the Integrated Dairy Research Facility at the University of Wisconsin yielding new inferences to heifer DMI under near commercial rearing conditions. Summary data of the study is presented in Table 1.

DMI as Percent of Body Weight

Dry matter intake of dairy heifers as a percent of body weight for Holstein and Holstein x Jersey crossbred heifers is presented in the Figure 1. The relationship is not a straight line. Dry matter intake of dairy heifers as a % of body weight can be estimated using the equation presented in the Figure 1.

NDF Intake

The heifer DMI study at the University of Wisconsin also made a key yet very simple discovery. Dairy heifers consume a near-constant 1.0 % of the body weight as NDF (Figure 2). This finding is important because heifers consuming low NDF diets (i.e. corn silage) will eat more feed than heifers consuming high NDF diets (straw, mature forages, etc).

Conclusion

Heifer DMI as a percent of body weight decreases as BW increases for dairy heifers, but the relationship is not a straight line. The DMI of dairy heifers is further influenced by dietary NDF concentration. Low NDF diets increase DMI and high NDF diets decrease DMI within any body weight category.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

* Copy this password:

* Type or paste password here:

40,665 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>