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*** FEED - MFA Dry Cow Feeding Program

   MFA Dry Cow Feeding Program

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    The dry period is a time for necessary rest and rebuilding for the dairy cow.
    The MFA Dry Cow Program is designed to give your cows the opportunity
    to realize their full production potential.

    Dry Cow Tips 

  1. Cows should be a minimum body condition score (BCS) of 3.0 at dry-off and should remain at that score throughout the dry period.

  2. Stop milking cows 45-60 days prior to calving.

  3. Dry cow treat every quarter on every cow for mastitis prevention.

  4. Segregate dry cows from the milking herd. 

    Feeding in the early dry period

  1. Long-stemmed, medium quality grass forage.

  2. Limit silages to no more than 30 lbs. per head per day.

  3. MFA Select Dry Cow Feed or Original Dry Cow Feed at 5 lbs. per head per day, or MFA Dry Cow Supplement at 1.25 lbs. in 5 lbs. grain mix per head per day. These dry cow feeds do not contain salt; offer salt as block salt.

  4. MFA Free Choice Dairy Dry Cow Mineral -- offer salt as a salt block along with the Dry Cow Mineral. 

    Close-up Dry Cows

At three weeks prior to freshening, begin adjusting dry cows to milking ration forage. Feed up to 5 lbs. of the milking grain ration in addition to dry cow grain.

Close-up dry cows typically have reduced dry matter intake, therefore nutrient density of the ration should be increased for the cow close to freshening. Starting 14 days before calving date, feed MFA Rampart Transition Feed at a minimum of 8-12 lbs. per head per day, feed through the first 10 days of lactation. This practice will help stimulate intake and provide critical nutrients needed by cows under the stress of freshening.

Drying off cows and moving them to the dry cow pasture often puts their nutritional concerns on the back burner. Maintaining a high level of nutrient fortification lets cows rest up from the previous lactation and get ready for the next lactation. When dry cows are rested and ready for freshening and early lactation, they are more likely to realize maximum milk production.

For more information, contact Janice Spears at jspears@www.mfa-inc.com.

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