Dairy cows are big animals. It takes a lot of feed so they can make milk and stay nourished. A mature cow can eat upwards of 100 pounds of feed a day!
Our girls have their own personal nutritionist who balances their ration (food). Just like a skilled athlete, our cows have a balanced bite to give them exactly what they need.
“Cow food” is technically called a TMR, or Total Mixed Ration. It’s mixed in a large mix wagon and fed twice a day.
The first thing we put in to our mix wagon is hay. Cows love hay. It keeps their bellies happy and full. Hay also helps cows make more butterfat in their milk.
Next comes the corn silage. Our silage is mainly stored in silos. We also use the large plastic ag bags. It takes a LOT of corn silage to keep every one fed thru the year. We harvest the corn in the early fall before with stalks dry down. The chopper chops the stalk in to tiny pieces. It’s then stored in an air tight container (either the silo or bag) to ferment.
After the corn silage comes haylage. This is a fermented feed made much the same way as corn silage.
Lastly comes the grain mix. The grain mix contains corn, soy beans, vitamins and minerals. It’s all ground very fine so it mixes easily in to the ration.
Once all the ingredients are put in a very large and very sharp auger combines all the ingredients.
The tractor drives thru the barn dispensing the TMR in to the feed bunk.
The cows have feed free choice all day every day. It takes a lot to keep those big, beautiful girls happy and full!