Here is one of the ration recipe sheets we get from our dairy’s nutritionist that we use to feed our cows for their dietary needs. This single shows just five of our seven different rations for the many different groups of cows we have. We group cows based on several factors such as milk production, pregnancy, and age to make sure they receive the most nutritive feed possible and remain healthy. This sheet is similar to those found on dairies everywhere and is not unique to just our dairy and as you can see corn is just one of the many things cows eat.
The cattle on our dairy farm eat diets that are made specifically for them by a ruminant nutritionist. Here on the dairy we mix together individual ingredients to make a ration that is then fed to the cattle. In addition we do have some pasture to supplement the rations.
The ingredients are:
Dried Distillers Grain – this is the grain left from brewing and distilling spirits and is a good source of fat and protein.
Almond Hulls – Outer protective skin when the Almond grows on the tree
Cotton Seed – the inner part of the cotton boll that is left after the cotton fiber is removed
Various silages – made from Corn Plants, and various small grain plants
Various minerals and vitamins
We also include steamed flaked corn, water and some concentrated energy additives to make the ration.
To learn more about technical information on cattle rations please visit the blog of my great friend Jeff Fowle he is currently doing a series of posts on cattle nutrition.