The aim of feeding the spring calving suckler is to supply everything the growing foetus needs without the cow getting too fat. Over winter, cows fed ad libitum silage are likely to get too fat. Using a mix of straw and silage keeps the cow full all day, but restricts her energy intake.

In the pre-calving period, vitamins and minerals supplementation is essential, in particular magnesium, selenium, iodine and vitamin E. Our dry cow minerals are formulated to reduce the risk of both milk fever and grass staggers in spring. Also, iodine, zinc, selenium and vitamin E are included for calf vigour and colostrum quality. If body condition has not been well managed by 150 days before calving, it must be adjusted quickly to avoid changes in condition in the last 50 days of pregnancy. In the last 50 days before calving don’t try to change body condition or it will affect the calf.

Even for dry sucklers a small amount of protein (12% DM) needs to be fed. This can be achieved using feeds such as rapeseed meal, protein molasses, wheat or barley distillers.

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