Eliminate the calf manna, change the grain to 14% all-stock, and feed much less of it. For 3 gallons of milk, her max. suggested amount should be 8-9 pounds of grain - no more.
Do you have a hay feeder? She should really eat out of a hay feeder, not on the floor. For many reasons - 1) parasites (she'll pick up parasites eating off the floor, but not if eating from a hay feeder) 2) waste - once it smells like poo, a cow doesn't want to eat it 3) savings - hay stays clean in a feeder, so you'll get to utilize 90-100% of feed as feed.
Is she only getting grass hay? She would benefit from some alfalfa as well. Somewhere around 30% of her overall hay consumption would be a good amount - not so much that it increases milk production but enough to benefit her health.
p.s. Her coat is nice and shiny and healthy. She is a bit thin...but won't take much to get her where you want her.
She is only getting grass hay. Alfalfa is pretty high around here ($10 to $15 a bale). I could do pellets or cubes for a little added nutrition,, though. I don't have a hay rack, yet, but totally possible to put one in. The hay in the picture is on a rubber mat and no other animals are there really. So, as clean as it could be on the ground. However, I do feed on the ground in the field. We just haven't gotten a good hay feeder yet (we have been here 6 months, but only feeding hay the last 6 weeks or so).
Thank you for all your advice!!
Hay rack is a good idea. Or a feeder the goats can't jump into so they don't soil the hay. I have 7 weaned goat kids in with my cow and they love to jump in her feeder. She takes her head and vaults them over the top rail, so they wait until she has eaten her fill.
Julie wife, mom to 3 wonderful kids
Currently Cow-less for the first time in 11 years RIP-- Rose-Jersey RIP-- Abby - Jersey Rosie-- Jersey past family cow Lily -- Angus / Jersey past family cow 2 appaloosas- Candy, Sierra 2 dogs--Tess, Sunny a herd of 22 Boer goats a variety of chickens 3500+ pigs in our care at any given time. 1 house/outside cat-Shane
A couple fence staples, a short length of hog panel, two or three feet of chain, and a little hardware makes a quick, cheap hay rack.
Use the fence staples to secure the bottom of the panel to that horizontal board on the wall in your pics. Put them in tight, but just loose enough to act like a hinge so the top of the panel can swing in and out from the wall. Put a sturdy eyelet in the wall at the top corners of each end of the panel and use climbers clips or c-clamps to chain the top corners of the panel to the eyelets so that the panel sits at about a 45 degree angle from the wall. Put the hay between the panel and the wall and away you go.
She is only getting grass hay. Alfalfa is pretty high around here ($10 to $15 a bale). I could do pellets or cubes for a little added nutrition,, though.
No pellets, they're a waste of money and almost as expensive as hay anyway. You'd be better off buying the alfalfa, even if you feed only a big flake a day, which would make one bale last several days. That'd be much more beneficial to your cow's nutrition.
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Yup, I agree. Cut back to one scoop (16 percent protein, all stock), free choice second cutting hay- - but put it in a covered feeder if you can. She's on the thin side but not bad for a winter cow. Good coat, and the fact that she took for the pregnancy says good things about her health too.
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