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The secret to a good transition diet

A cow’s nutrition pre-calving has a huge effect on the way it performs in the milking herd. Feeding an energy-dense diet pre-calving will keep the cows in a good nutritional state post calving.

Molasses is a smart addition to a springer’s ration because it does not have a bulk factor neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and won’t take up precious space in the rumen. A highly fermentable energy source, molasses will help maintain the energy density of the diet. Molasses is also highly palatable and encourages the cow to eat, even when appetite drive is low.

During early winter, pasture growth and nutrient content can vary widely and this can have a detrimental effect on animal performance. Incorporating molasses into your herd’s diet is an ideal way to improve livestock condition in preparation for colder winter weather and calving. Springing cows fed molasses in transition diets prior to calving helps drive appetite after calving and maximise milk production.

Benefits of feeding molasses during the dry period:

  • Provides energy to maintain cow condition pre-calving
  • Acts as a carrier to supply other nutrients and minerals to help balance the diet
  • Supplies an energy dense feed for neonatal calf energy
  • Helps prepare the rumen for milking type feeds
  • Drives appetite to encourage higher feed intakes post-calving
  • Optimises Dietary Cation Anion Difference (DCAD) to aid in the prevention of metabolic disease in ‘at-risk’ cows

No matter your feeding infrastructure, you can incorporate molasses into your herd’s nutrition plan; Agrifeeds Feedgrade Molasses can be delivered as bulk on to farm, or ordered by the drum or pail from Farm Source stores; and Agrifeeds PKExtra is delivered on to farm.

Feedgrade Molasses is also available blended with essential minerals to aid in the prevention of metabolic diseases. Molasses Xtra – Rumag300® is a unique combination of molasses, Rumensin® and magnesium and is an aid in the control of ketosis and the prevention of bloat (ACVM No. A7871).

PKExtra is a cost-effective way to get molasses into your herd. New technological advancements mean Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) can now be precisely blended with 10%, 20% or 30% molasses and delivered direct to farm. As well as minimising dust and wastage, it’s scientifically proven to improve feed conversion efficiency and productivity*. PKExtra 10® is flowable and can be used in silos as well as troughs and feed pads. PKExtra 20® and PKExtra 30® are suitable for feeding in troughs and feed pads. Because PKExtra is made to order, you can choose from Agrifeeds’ range of minerals to include with your PKExtra order.

For more information and to order your molasses or PKExtra, contact your Agrifeeds Animal Nutrition Sales Representative or rural retailer.

* Based on independent research carried out by Webster and Hoover at the Rumen Fermentation Profiling Lab in West Virginia, USA, 2015.