Every penny counts when raising the future of your herd
by Rachel Kenneke -Dairy Field Technical Support
Whether your age at first calving goal is 21 or 24 months- you have a lot of time to raise a new heifer calf until she enters the milking herd. It’s no secret that this raising period is an expense. Because you are investing in the future of your herd, it is important to look for economical options that do not hinder performance.
Feeding a QLF heifer product can often times decrease feed costs by 5-15 cents/head/day and improve efficiency. Incoprorating QLF into your heifer rations also decreases sorting, maximizes fiber digestibility and reduces shrink.
QLF Heifer Customer Data:
Real farm data from a heifer site in eastern Wisconsin is shown below. The “Dry Mineral TMR” consisted of corn silage, heifer haylage, sweet corn silage, and a heifer mineral mix. The “QLF TMR” consists of corn silage, heifer haylage, sweet corn silage, and a custom QLF heifer product. This specific QLF heifer product is 67% DM and 50% CP and contains the vitamins, minerals and Rumensin. Feeding rate is 0.75 lbs/hd/day.
Shaker boxes were done across the bunk when fresh feed was dropped (red), eight hours later (grey) and twenty-three hours post feeding (black).
At feedout, the QLF TMR had more material on the top screen initally, but had less sorting against the top sceen throughout the 23-hour period. Intake of the longest particles is important for normal rumen function, nutrient/fiber provision and dry matter intake.
There are more benefits to feeding a QLF heifer product other than sorting:
Improve TMR Consistency
Sorting can increase feed waste and hinder performance with inconsisent intakes of nutrients and additives. Having a heifer QLF product carry all the vitamins, trace minerals and ionophore improves nutrient distribution across the bunk and promotes consistent intakes of these small ingredients throughout the day.
Maximize Forage Use
Low quality forages can fit well economically into many heifer diets. The sugars and protein from QLF heifer products improve both TMR palatabilty and digestion of these lower quality forages. QLF heifer products also increase rumen efficiency.
In QLF’s closed feeding system, there is virtually no shrink. It’s as easy as a flip of a switch to add QLF to the mixer.
QLF offers a variety of heifer liquid products to fit different feeding programs. Customization of heifer products is also available. Reach out to your local QLF rep to learn more.