Storing and Mixing Feed
The basics of storing feed is the same as those for buying fodder and grain. Dairy Australia has a number of tips for dairy farmers to help them through this task, which is not as daunting as it may seem. A list of tips is available to help dairy farmers choose feed mixing and delivery equipment, while a checklist is also available to help dairy farmers when mixing and delivering feed to their herds.
The basics of storing feed are the same as those for buying fodder and grain or concentrates. Some of the fundamentals include:
- Get a feed test to know what is in the feed before buying it
- Store it in a way that minimises spoilage and wastage
- Make sure the ingredients fit the farm's flexible feeding system
- Be aware of any potential hazards with certain types of feeds.
More information is available in the Flexible feeding systems – Filling the pantry fact sheet.
There are a number of considerations for dairy farmers when mixing and delivering feed to the herd. These include:
- Follow the machine manufacturer's standard operating procedures for loading and mixing
- Ensure all farm employees know what a well-mixed diet looks like
- The feed trough is at least 30 centimetres off the ground but the top no more than 100 cm above the ground
- There is enough trough space for all the animals in the group
- There is sufficient cow access to drinking water
- The diet is palatable for the cows and not too wet, too dry or spoiling too quickly
Feed mixing and delivery equipment
Feed mixing and delivery equipment needs to:
- Be easy and safe to operate
- Fit with existing farm infrastructure
- Provide the same diet to all animals in the group
- Deliver a diet that adds to farm profit
- Be easy to maintain (having local mechanical support is important)
The Flexible feeding systems - Mixing and delivering feed explains what equipment to use to mix and deliver feed to the herd, such as a front-end loader (tractor and bucket), silage cart or mixer wagon.
Flexible feeding systems filling the pantry(09 July 2020)PDF, 260.29 KB
Flexible feeding systems mixing and delivering feed(09 July 2020)PDF, 488.04 KB