A dairy cow has a lot of demands placed on her in regards to producing large quantities of milk solids and growing calves. It’s important to provide the right feeds to ensure that she stays in good condition all year long. This is an animal welfare issue. Good condition also ensures good milk supply over the milking season, and it increases the probability of her getting into calf.
The type of feed and when it is eaten has consequences for the environment, so careful farm management is needed to ensure animal and environmental wellbeing.
The resources for this topic explore seasonal surpluses and deficits in pasture throughout the year and introduce some of the options farmers have to feed cows. Students evaluate these options and graph pasture growth and cow needs.
The following resources are courtesy of Lincoln University:
- Feed choices for dairy cows – lesson plan – pdf
- Feeding cows in tough times – teacher notes – ppt
- Feeding cows in tough times – student notes – pdf
- Feed cards – part 1 – pdf
- Feed cards – part 2 – pdf
- Evaluating feed types: before and after grazing part 1 – student handout – pdf
- Evaluating feed types: before and after grazing part 2 – student handout – pdf
- Blank graph template – pdf