Consistent, Efficient TMR Feeding
How often do you evaluate your operation's feeding protocols?
The Hoard’s Dairyman webinar demonstrates the need to evaluate feeding techniques on a regular basis.
We sponsored the December 10th Hoard's Dairyman webinar to help you know what to look for when reviewing the feeding aspect of your operation.
The 7 Mixing Factors highlighted in the webinar included:
- Overfilling – If there is not enough drop and mixing clearance, your ration consistency will suffer.
- Hay processing – Hay should be added early in the mixing process and be prechopped to 6 inches. Straw should be in the 2-inch range. This will reduce separation of hay during mixing in the wagon and sorting in the feedbunk.
- Mix times – When the last ingredient has been added, the feed should be mixed for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Worn parts – Look at the kicker plates and blades on your equipment. While they still may be sharp, they could be worn and not properly mixing the ration.
- Liquid loading problems – Liquids such as molasses, whey or water should be added at the end. Even distribution, preferably through a manifold, is important for ration consistency.
- Unlevel - Is the tractor and mixing wagon on level ground? Is the wagon itself level? If not, feed can gravitate to one end of the wagon and cause ingredients to not mix well.
- Mixing order – The sequence of ingredients can play a key role in consistencies in rations. Hay (prechopped) should be added first, then premixes and minerals (their smaller volumes necessitate being added early in the mixing order), then corn silage and liquids.