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Dry Cows

Daily cow requirements

Dry cow liveweight MJ ME/kg Lwt change (Diet ME required or saved)

  • Lwt gain 72
  • Lwt loss -30

Example: Daily requirements of a 450 kg JXF cow, 12 weeks before calving and gaining 0.5 kg/day Lwt (1/2 BCS in 30 days) at 11.0 MJ ME/kg DM.

  • Maintenance = 54
  • Pregnancy = 12
  • Lwt gain (0.50 kg Lwt x 72 MJ) = 36
  • Total MJ ME = 102

Total kg DM Eaten (102 divided by 11.0 ME) = 9.3 kg DM
Note: Diet ME required increased by 36 MJ ME from gain of Lwt

The feed requirement figures are 'eaten' feed demand plus 6% to allow for feed wastage observed under good feeding conditions of pasture in farmlet trials. Where feed (pasture or supplement) wastage rates are higher than those stated, requirements for feed offered need to be increased. The requirements are calculated for pasture at 11.0 MJ ME/kg DM. For different pasture quality make the following adjustments to calculate ME or DM requirements.

Dry cow dry matter requirements

Kg liveweight per body condition score (kg Lwt/BCS = 6.58% of cow Lwt)

Cow Lwt
350
400 450 500 550
kg/BCS 23 26 30 33 36

Dry cow requirements for one body condition score gain (kg DM/BCS)

Breed Kg Lwt Pasture spring Pasture Autumn Good pasture silage Poor pasture silage Average maize silage High grain maize silage Grain PKE Molasses

MJ ME/kg DM

12.0

MJ ME/kg DM

11.0

MJ ME/kg DM

10.5

MJ ME/kg DM

9.0

MJ ME/kg DM

10.5

MJ ME/kg DM

10.8

MJ ME/kg DM

12.5

MJ ME/kg DM

11.0

MJ ME/kg DM

11.5

J
350 115 170 150 210 145 140 100 135 120
J
400 130 200 175 240 170 160 115 155 140
J x F
450
145 220 195 275 190 180 130 170 155
Fr
500
160 250 220 305 210 200 145 190 175
Fr
550
180 275 240 340 235 220 160 210 190

Note: Dry matter requirements have been rounded up to the nearest 5. The pasture requirements are based on good feeding conditions. For other feeds there is a small allowance of 6% for wastage. Where wastage rates are higher, the requirements need to be increased accordingly.

The above figures for BCS gain when feeding supplements are under review as of June 2010. For the latest figures refer to DairyNZ Farmfact: Feed requirements of dry cows (3-25)

Maintenance and pregnancy requirements no body condition score gain (kg/DM/cow/day) 11.0 MJ ME/kg DM autumn pasture

Breed
Kg Lwt

12 wks pre-calving

8 wks pre-calving

4 wks pre-calving

2 wks pre-calving

J
350
5.0

5.7

6.8 7.7
J
400
5.5 6.3 7.6 8.5
J x F
450 6.0 6.8 8.3 9.3
Fr
500
6.5 7.4 9.0 10.1
Fr
550 7.0 8.0 9.6 10.8

Maintenance and pregnancy requirements gaining 1 body condition score gain in 60 days (kg/DM/cow/day) 11.0 MJ ME/kg DM autumn pasture

Breed
Kg Lwt

12 wks pre-calving

8 wks pre-calving

4 wks pre-calving

2 wks pre-calving

J
350
7.8

8.5

9.7 7.7
J
400
8.8 9.5 10.8 8.5
J x F
450 9.7 10.5 12.0 9.3
Fr
500
10.7 11.5 13.1 10.1
Fr
550 11.6 12.5 14.2 10.8