Different Feeding Systems

Different farms, different feeding systems. Mineral supplementation is practical for every farm feeding system, but product form and application methods need to be applied differently to each. You have options - select solutions tailored to your system.

What different feeding systems are in use?

NZ dairy farms typically employ 1 of 3 different primary feed systems:

Primarily pasture with some silage or hay fed on the paddock when required.
Feed pad system alongside pasture.
In-shed feed system feeding rolled grains or grain based pellets.

Some farms have more than one of these systems in place, and may be using more than one at any given time.

The Pros & Cons

Feeding on pasture is still common on many farms, the disadvantages to this system are (a) a higher level of wastage and (b) feed intakes are harder to monitor. Cows have a tendency to trample a portion of the feed - along with some of the mineral supplement - into the ground rather than eating it.

Feed pads while requiring a higher initial capital outlay, offer flexibility and good cost control as much of the feed can be grown on farm, or contract grown at a good price. With the use of a good feedout wagon, or even better, a mixer wagon, a wide range of feeds and minerals can be used very cost effectively.

While in-shed feeding systems will initially require less outlay in terms of capital expenditure, formulated feeds and grains can be expensive and prices are dictated by supply and demand. Minerals fed in the shed need to be palatable and dust minimised otherwise intake levels will not be achieved, cows also tend to sort the minerals from the feed if they are in the wrong form or if they taste bitter.

Custom Mineral Supplementation

Different mineral forms can be blended to cater to a farm’s different feeding systems.

For instance, mixer wagons used in a feed pad situation may require minerals in a powder form that will combine and stick well to the silages used. While minerals fed in meal using an automated shed feeding system would normally be in largely granulated form, this will guarantee free flow and very little dust in the shed.

Agvance supplies and formulates mineral blends for each type of feed system.

Like to know more? Get in contact today. One of our team will be happy to provide more information and help you select the correct mineral options for your specific feed system.