FARMFEED LIMITED. Adding value to Zambian crops through livestock SOME OF THE BASICS FOR DAIRY FARMING IN ZAMBIA

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1 FARMFEED LIMITED (IN ASSOCIATION WITH SPESFEED (PTY) LTD) POSTNET BOX 442 P/BAG E891 Adding value to Zambian crops through livestock LUSAKA ZAMBIA / SOME OF THE BASICS FOR DAIRY FARMING IN ZAMBIA 1. CALVES 1.1 COLOSTRUM - Colostrum is the thick creamy yellow secretion produced by the udder shortly after calving. ANTIOBODIES - The colostrum contains antibodies that are vital to help the newborn calf fight off infections that may challenge it. LAXATIVE - Apart from supplying antibodies colostrum also has a laxative effect and so gets the digestive tract to function properly. TRANSITONAL MILK is what is produced from the 2 nd to 8 th day after birth with declining levels of antibodies. TIMING AND AMOUNT It is vital that the calf gets the colostrum as soon as possible. 24 hours after birth the calf has lost the ability to absorb the colostrum. If the calf does not get enough colostrum in within the first 12 hours then its survival chances are greatly reduced. COLOSTRUM FED (Kg) MORTALITY % Feed up to 4 litres of colostrum to the calf within the first 6 hours after birth. Use a bottle and teat that have been well sterilized feed at 39 degrees Celsius. Colostrum can be frozen and defrosted without damaging the antibodies. POOR QUALITY COLOSTRUM Thin and watery Contains blood From mastitis quarter From a recently purchased cow or heifer From a cow that was milked before calving or which had colostrum leakage 1.2 PRACTICAL MILK FEEDING Keep water away from calves for 1 hour before and after milk feeds Sterilize containers well

2 Feed at same temperature every day Large breeds - 2 litres twice a day, Small breeds 1.5 litres twice a day Make sure every calf gets its full allocation. 1.3 MEAL FEEDING INTRODUCTION Introduce meal feed from a few days of age RUMEN STIMULATION Feeding calf starter meal stimulates rumen development CALF STARTER feed a good quality calf starter (18-20 %) from a few days of age to 3 months of age. Small quantities, fresh each day. Dip wet nose into feed. CALF GROWER 4 months to 9 months of age HEIFER 9 months to bulling AD LIB Feed all the above feeds ad lib. HAY start feeding good quality hay from 1 week of age. 1.4 WATER Water is an absolutely vital input for all animals. Dairy calves need to have access to plenty of good clean water at all times except around milk feeding times. 1.5 WEANING Wean at kg live mass or when calves are eating 2 kg of dairy meal per day. 1.6 HOUSING Calves need clean, well-lighted, properly ventilated quarters. Damp stalls, drafts, and wet bedding may lower the calf's resistance to certain diseases, especially pneumonia. Poorly ventilated quarters usually lead to strong undesirable odours. Individual, portable pens work very well. Young calves should be placed in individual pens until 6 to 12 weeks of age, depending on facilities. The two most common types are portable and permanent pens. Permanent pens should be designed so as to make them easy to clean and well ventilated, without having wet floors. Portable pens provide plenty of fresh air and shelter, they are inexpensive to make. There is less danger of spreading disease when calves are kept in individual pens. Portable pens are usually placed on clean permanent pasture with good drainage and good grass cover that serves as bedding for the calves. It is best to move the pens on a rotational basis every one to two weeks or as often as needed. 1.7 GROUPING HEIFERS Ideally, heifers should be placed in groups of 10 to 12 heifers per lot as soon as they are removed from individual pens. In most operations, this occurs at two to three months of age and provides ease in observing the heifers and detecting problems. Also, heifers tend to be more competitive at the feed bunk and, as a result, grow faster. As heifers become ready to be put on pasture at 5 to 6 months of age, larger groups (15-25) are more desirable.

3 Age-Based Grouping System The following suggests a possible grouping system for replacement heifers: Weaning age to six months. This group requires special attention and feeding to grow well. Six months to nine months. These calves need grain supplementation and good pasture. Nine months to breeding age. This group may do well for short periods on quality forages and a mineral supplement. However, some grain may be needed for good growth. Breeding age. Heifers in this group require special attention for breeding and mammary development. Provide adequate eating space for all heifers. Usually 30 cm of manger space is needed for young calves and 60 cm for older heifers. 2.0 COWS God gave cattle 4 legs and a rumen. As dairy and beef farmers in Africa we need to maximize on these two assets. The rumen has the incredible ability to convert roughage into milk or meat if managed properly. The main inputs we need are: Water Protein Energy Roughage 2.1 WATER The higher the water intake the higher the feed intake and hence the higher the potential milk production. For every litre of milk produced the cows need to consume 5 litres of water. 2.2 PROTEIN This is usually supplied in the form of a 19 or 21 % dairy meal. A good quality dairy meal will consist of several protein sources with a fair level of bypass protein (40%). GUIDELINES Feed 500 grams dairy meal per cow per day for every kg of milk produced pre-peak, After peak reduce gradually to 450, 400, 350 etc. grams per day per kg of milk, Spread this feed into as many meals as possible, Try to avoid feeding more than 4 kg at any one time.

4 2.3 ENERGY (ROUGHAGE) This should be largely supplied by on-farm produced roughage. The more on farm roughage one produces the more profitable the dairy will be. With the high cost of transport relative to the price of milk one cannot afford to transport roughage. One must therefore grow as much roughage as possible, and of as high a quality as possible SOME TYPICAL ROUGHAGE SOURCES IN ZAMBIA Star Grass Rhodes Grass Bush Grass Maize Silage Kow Kandy Hy Pearl Millet 3.0 DRY MATTER INTAKE (DMI) This is one of the most important factors in dairy production. Encouraging a cow to eat large amounts of feed is the key to productive and efficient milk production. Select feeds to ensure maximum intake. All the nutrients the cow requires for milk production (except water) are in the dry material of the feed. High dry matter intake (DMI) results in high nutrient intake and high milk yield. Table 1 gives the maximum total DMI (from roughage and grain mixture) that milking cows can eat in mid-to-late lactation. The table lists DMI as a % of body weight and in kg per day. A cow weighing 550 kg giving 30 kg milk can eat 3.7% of her body weight in DM daily or about 20.4 kg. A bigger cow (650 kg) at the same milk yield can eat only 3.4% of her weight in DM (22.1 kg per day). Bigger cows at higher milk yield, can eat more feed DM. Table 1. Dry matter intake by cows in mid to late lactation (% of body weight and kg per day) Cow Body Weight (kg) Milk Yield (kg) % kg % kg % kg

5 DMI of cows in early lactation may be reduced by up to 18% below the values in Table 1. Early lactation cows have reduced appetites. Problems such as difficult calving, milk fever, retained afterbirth or twisted stomach will further depress DMI. Most cows increase in DMI gradually after calving and peak in DMI by 10 to 12 weeks of lactation. Total ration DM should be between 50 and 55%. Wetter or drier rations limit DM consumption. When silages are fed heavily, expect DMI to decline by 0.02% of body weight for each 1% decrease in total ration DM. Example: 40% DM ration - 50% DM limit = -10 x 0.02% x 600 kg cow = -1.2 kg DMI per day. Maximum DMI depends on continuous access to fresh, clean, cool water. You should provide water in a well lit area within 15 metres of the feed bunk. Cows drink about 5 litres of water for each kg milk (eg. a cow producing 40 litres of milk will consume 200 litres of water). Cows are thirsty and hungry immediately after milking. Decreasing water intake by 40% results in a 16 to 24% decline in DMI and a large decrease in milk yield. Cows need more water in hot weather. 3.1 GRAZING INTAKES HOURS OF GRAZING INTAKE (Kg DM/Day) SOME PRACICAL GUIDELINES (HOARD S RULES OF THUMB) 4.1 FEEDING Cows should eat 4 % of body mass at peak intake, One needs 1 kg DMI per 2 kg milk produced, less than this leads to excessive weight loss, Cows like to eat and drink after milking, Cows need to eat at last 12 meals per day- spread meals out, Cows should have access to feed 20 hours per day, Keep first calving heifers separate, Feed intake drops when the temperature exceeds 24 C - when hot feed more at night, 5 Litres water per litre of milk, Do not feed more than 60 % concentrates as a percent of DMI, Measure MOFC (Margin Over Feed Cost). 4.2 PEAK PRODUCTION Cows should peak within 8-10 weeks of calving, First calvers should peak within 25 % of older cows, For every extra litre at peak, expect litres extra over the lactation,

6 If peak well, but poor persistency check energy intake, First calvers drop at 0.2 % per day after peak, older cows at 0.3 % per day, REFERENCES Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Agdex 410/50 University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Doc DS 76 Spesfeed Dairy Nutrition in Southern Africa Hoard s Dairyman Dugmore, Dr, T. Cedara College, RSA, - Personal Communication Compiled by Peter D.Mck. de Wet of Farmfeed Limited

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