The Challenges of Feeding Your Goat Herd, J.D. Kleinschmidt

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Janet Kleinschmidt shares her expertise of feeding your goat herd.

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The Challenges of Feeding Your Goat Herd, J.D. Kleinschmidt

  1. 1. The Challenges of Feeding Your Goat Herd in 2012-2013 & Considerations When Feeding a Goat Herd a TMR J. D. Kleinschmidt BSc.(Agr), MSc. janetklein@uniserve.com 1
  2. 2. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. This past summer, the United States and parts of Canada experienced the worst drought in more than half a century. In Canada the areas most hard hit included most of southern Ontario, Quebec and parts of the Maritimes and Manitoba. 2
  3. 3. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. In the US the Mississippi River approached record lows, as far as 20 feet below normal. Throughout the Midwest, meager corn harvests began on the some of the earliest dates ever recorded. Corn and soybean farms produced far smaller yields, which is affecting livestock production and impacting food prices worldwide. 3
  4. 4. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. 4
  5. 5. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. 5
  6. 6. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. Adverse weather conditions like drought present the goat producer with some major challenges: 1.The largest problem is having enough forage available to feed all animal groups. 1.The second significant problem is forage quality. 6
  7. 7. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. 3.The third issue (and in many peoples minds the most important issue) is the economics of the situation: Forage quantities are limited, to buy more forages is expensive and often prohibitive (that’s if you can find some!). Grains, proteins and by-products are at all time high $/Tonne The palatability of the items being evaluated and their suitability for use in the feeding system should also be considered. 7
  8. 8. Feeding the Goat Herd in an Environment of High Feed Costs and Low/ Poor Quality Forage Inventories. In addition to the aforementioned items, there are other risk factors that occur during a drought that can have a substantial impact on animal performance. Listeria, nitrates, mycotoxins, molds, prussic acid, and other poisons can jeopardize both production and health of animals. 8
  9. 9. Feeding Silage to Goats: The Pros and the Cons (Let’s address this right off the top) Goats are natural browsers in the wild, being very selective of what they eat. If the seasonal nutritive values of browse and other feedstuffs decline or fluctuate, silage can be a good alternative, especially in production situations that require consistent nutrition on a daily basis. Feeding silage to goats is generally safe but does come with some risks and challenges, but there is nothing inherently wrong with feeding silage to goats. 9
  10. 10. Feeding Silage to Goats: The Pros and the Cons As with all forages, quality and nutritional value, as well as price, should be the deciding factors when considering feeding silage to goats. While silages are an excellent way to preserve forages, improperly processing, ensiling and possible mishandling after ensiling can result in a dangerous product that will have an ill/deadly effect on goats. 10
  11. 11. Feeding Silage to Goats: The Pros and the Cons Corn silage, haylage, small grain silage and baled haylage are all potential ensiled feeds for goats. The biggest concern from a goat perspective with spoiled, or poorly ensiled haylage is the risk of listeriosis. The bacteria causing the disease will not survive in silage where the pH is below 5.6. The bacteria will survive in pockets of spoiled silage, such as the bag closure and any punctures that have allowed air in. 11
  12. 12. Feeding Silage to Goats: The Pros and the Cons Remember that spoiled silage left in the feeders can contaminate good quality silage, resulting in perpetuation of the problem. Because the ensiling process takes a minimum of 3 weeks to complete, listeria may be present during this time period, since the pH won’t necessarily have dropped below 5.6 during this time. I prefer my clients to wait MUCH longer than 3 weeks to feed out any ensiled feed (3 months)! 12
  13. 13. Feeding Silage to Goats: The Pros and the Cons Bottom line: fermented feeds can be fed to goats. To help reduce the risk of losses to Listeriosis: lAlways be conscious of the risk of listeriosis lDo a top job of harvesting and storing haylage lCheck bags frequently for holes and seal promptly lNever feed spoiled haylage to goats lWait at least 3 weeks (!) after ensiling before feeding 13
  14. 14. Feeding Silage to Goats: The Pros and the Cons 6. Start goats on haylage gradually (as with all feed changes) 7. Provide plenty of clean drinking water 8. Use a feeding system that minimizes waste and trampling (TMR) 9. Clean up refused feed regularly isolate and treat sick animals 10. Remember that the disease is contagious to humans as well - Use care when handling sick animals 14
  15. 15. What to do about 2012 feed??? There are many strategies that livestock producers can do to get thru the 2012-2013 production year. Some of these strategies we are too late for in in early 2013, but I guarantee you, for the young producers out there, you will go thru this at least once more in your careers (take notes!). 15
  16. 16. What to do about 2012 feed??? 1. Plant annuals (too late!) Additional forages may be grown to help supplement forage supplies. Oats, peas, triticale, wheat and rye grass, provide an option for additional forage (must have some moisture). These forages could either be used in diets of lactating animals or as forage sources for young stock to increase the supply of higher quality forages for the lactating herd. 16
  17. 17. What to do about 2012 feed??? 2. Source forages from outside sources (possibly too late) Drought conditions result in reduced home grown forages. Being proactive on sourcing additional forage can be beneficial as availability of forages may be reduced and prices will continue to rise as demand increases. I recommended my clients buy any needed forages at the end of last summer before prices got way out of hand (they will be CRAZY before 1st cut). 17
  18. 18. What to do about 2012 feed??? 3. Purchase drought-stressed corn to harvest for silage (again probably too late) Even though drought-stressed corn may not result in Eve feed values equal to corn silage grown during a normal year, it can still be a good source of feed. Increased opportunities for purchasing droughtstressed corn for silage are likely in areas where corn is commonly grown for grain. However, the moisture of these crops must be monitored closely to be sure the crop will ensile and ferment correctly, and nitrate testing needs to be done. 18
  19. 19. What to do about 2012 feed??? 4. Use non-forage fiber sources in dairy diets ($$$ in 2013) Consider reformulating diets to include non-forage fiber sources and reduce the inclusion of forages in the diets of your goats. Although some eNDF is necessary in a ruminant’s diet, non-fiber feed sources, such soybean hulls, corn gluten feed and cottonseed hulls can help to meet the animal’s fiber requirements. Less expensive effective fiber such as straw or low quality hay may be added. 19
  20. 20. What to do about 2012 feed??? 20
  21. 21. What to do about 2012 feed??? 5.Focus on proper forage harvest techniques (for goat produces this is ESSENTIAL). Proper management and techniques at harvest will reduce losses and wasted forage. Even though proper management at harvest is always important, forage shortages further increase the importance of properly preserving as much forage as possible. Paying attention to forage moisture levels, use of inoculants and proper packing of silages help to insure that the harvested forage will be properly preserved. 21
  22. 22. What to do about 2012 feed??? 6.Store forages properly. Harvested forages only will be available to be fed if they are stored properly throughout the year. Feed losses can quickly increase feed cost. Use the following feed management practices to help minimize these losses:  Properly cover silage  Pack bunkers and piles well  Limit access by raccoons and other wildlife 22
  23. 23. What to do about 2012 feed??? 23
  24. 24. What to do about 2012 feed???  Manage the face of bunkers, bags, and upright silos  Prevent losses when storing concentrates and/or commodities.  Check scales on the grinder mixer and/or TMR mixer to make sure they are working properly  Routinely measure DM content of ensiled forages. 24
  25. 25. What to do about 2012 feed??? 7. Reduce waste feed Pay special attention to how much feed is being wasted at various points on the farm. Reduce the amount of feed refusals from groups or utilize the refusals in the diets of other animals, when appropriate, can help to minimize wastage. Keep the area around commodity storage clean and tidy can also help to prevent shrink and feed waste. 25
  26. 26. What to do about 2012 feed??? 8. Test forages Running analysis on forages is necessary to know the quality of the forages and to properly balance rations. Without having the forage tested, it is impossible to know the nutritional value of the feed. Other nutritional concerns, such as nitrates, also are a greater risk in drought years. Be sure to have the feeds tested at a certified laboratory. 26
  27. 27. What to do about 2012 feed??? 9.Inventory the feeds currently available on the farm Determine the amounts and quality of the forage sources currently available on the farm to determine if and how much additional forage may be needed. Remember that carry-over of corn silage is necessary to allow time for next year’s crop to ferment (minimum of 3 months of additional corn silage should be available). 27
  28. 28. What to do about 2012 feed??? 10. Sort forages by their quality. Energy is the most difficult nutrient to provide to lactating animals. Thus, they need to consume the higher-energy forages available. Within the milking herd, the highest-quality forages should be fed to the early-lactation animals, highproducing group, and/or fresh animals. Share the inventory of available forages with your nutritionist and develop a plan for using available forages. 28
  29. 29. What to do about 2012 feed??? 10. Sort forages by their quality. For meat animals, the highest quality forage should be reserved for animals prior to breeding (flushing) and for lactating animals particularly for those feeding multiples. 29
  30. 30. What to do about 2012 feed??? 11.Group Animals to Improve Feeding Decisions: 1. Early to mid-lactation animals: These are the current money makers in the herd. They require large amounts of good quality feed to maintain production. 2. Late lactation animals: These goats are on the back end of their productive lactation and most of their feed intake will be used to maintain body condition. 3. Goats close to kidding: Should receive a ration similar to early lactation animals to maintain body condition, to help prevent kidding difficulties, and to promote milk production after kidding. 30
  31. 31. What to do about 2012 feed??? 4.Young stock: A maintenance ration is usually sufficient, but it is important to remember they are the future milk makers in the herd. If animals are sorted and feed rations are mixed to fulfill the requirements of the respective groups, then feed costs can potentially be minimized based on a certain milk production level. 31
  32. 32. What to do about 2012 feed??? 12. Keep rumen health a top priority A healthy rumen environment, regardless of ration changes, is critical for consistent performance. Focus on rumen pH and maintaining a neutral environment to allow rumen microbes to thrive. Sodium bicarbonate free choice or 28 g/h/day? 32
  33. 33. What to do about 2012 feed??? 13.Cull Reducing the numbers of animals that need to be fed will help to stretch forage inventories. Ensure that the animals being retained on the farm are healthy and profitable for the operation. Animals with longer days in milk and short bred, problem breeders, and those with milk production below the level needed to cover feed costs may need to be culled or dried off early. 33
  34. 34. What to do about 2012 feed??? 14.Constantly review balanced rations for the milking herd. The dry weather pattern has greatly changed the quality of forages available to feed the milking herd. In addition, commodity prices are fluctuating widely. To deal with these rapidly fluctuating feed costs, producers will need to balance and evaluate feeding programs more frequently than in previous years. Working closely with your nutritionist is very important to capitalize on any available feed savings. 34
  35. 35. What to do about 2012 feed??? 15. Consider replacing some corn and soybean meal with lower-priced commodities in diets. Goats need nutrients, not ingredients, to support body maintenance, milk production, and growth. Replacing some of the corn, soybean meal, or other high-priced commodities in the diet can reduce feed costs. Commodities and by-products increase in price alongside increased prices seen for corn and soybean meal. 35
  36. 36. What to do??? Computer programs such as: FeedVal(FREE!) http:// www.uwex.edu/ces/dairynutrition/spreadsheets.cfm Sesame http://www.sesamesoft.com can be used to calculate the feeding or nutritional value of these feeds. If these feeds can be purchased more cheaply than their price based on nutritional value, they may be able to partially substitute for higher-priced ingredients. 36
  37. 37. Feeding drought stressed corn silage Drought-stricken corn can make nutritious silage: Absence of ears does not imply that corn silage lacks fermentable energy. Forage portions should contain reasonably high levels of soluble sugars. As corn approaches maturity, the energy level and dry matter yield increase. It is recommended to allow corn to develop as fully as possible (even w/o ears). 37
  38. 38. Feeding drought stressed corn silage There are wide variations in the nutritive content of drought-stressed corn silage. It may have an energy value 85 to 100 percent of normal corn silage, or it may be quite different. A standard forage analysis is highly recommended, along with testing for levels of nitrates. 38
  39. 39. Feeding drought stressed corn silage Another weather-related complication is frost on drought-stressed corn. When frost occurs on immature plants, it will appear drier than unfrosted corn of the same moisture content. Even though leaves may brown off along the edges and dry rapidly after a few sunny days, the green stalk and ears do not. The crop will continue to accumulate dry matter and should be left in the field until it reaches the appropriate moisture content. 39
  40. 40. Feeding drought stressed corn silage Immature plants that are killed will likely contain too much moisture for immediate ensiling. These plants will dry slowly and dry matter losses will increase as the dead plants drop their leaves. The best option is to leave the crop in the field until it reaches the appropriate dry matter level. Drought-damaged corn is usually lower in energy and dry matter, but similar or higher than usual in protein level. 40
  41. 41. Feeding drought stressed corn silage: At The Barn Level Supplement with other forages to avoid excess intake and dilute potentially dangerous silage. Feed a small number of animals and observe carefully before feeding a large number of animals. Feed poorer quality feed to low producing animals. Since immature corn is high in nitrates and NPN, limit the amount of urea in the total ration. 41
  42. 42. Feeding drought stressed corn silage: At The Barn Level  Adding grain (carbohydrates) will improve fermentation and silage quality, but cost must be considered.  Add non-protein nitrogen (NPN), such as urea, only to corn silage at the right moisture level (60-70%). If the silage does not ferment (too dry), losses will occur as ammonia gas. If seepage occurs (too wet), the NPN will leach out since it is water-soluble.  Well-balanced rations minimize stress on the animals. 42
  43. 43. Feeding drought stressed soybeans Drought or immature soybean plants can be used as a forage crop (soybean hay & silage). Plants should be allowed to mature as much as possible before harvesting. Plant moisture should drops below 60 to 65% for ensiled product. If possible, mix soybeans with other forages, preferably during ensiling to enhance palatability. Soybean forage is high in calcium and should be avoided as the major forage source for animals close to kidding. 43
  44. 44. Feeding drought stressed soybeans The stems of soybean plants are not very palatable, and animals will sort them out if given the opportunity; chopping into a total mixed ration will help reduce sorting. If soybean forage contains substantial amounts of developed beans, you may need to reduce the amount of other fats and oils in the ration for lactating cows based on the analyzed fat content of the soybeans. As with any forage, soybeans should be analyzed for their nutrient content. 44
  45. 45. Drought and feed poisoning in goats The incidence of listeriosis, nitrate poisoning, molds and mycotoxin and other problems may be increased when crops are grown or harvested under extreme weather conditions; however, these may be kept to a minimum if good judgment is used. 45
  46. 46. Listeriosis Listeriosis is a brain-stem disease caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which is found in soil, water, plant litter, silage, and even in the goat's digestive tract. There are two forms of Listeriosis: 1.One form results in abortions 2.Other causes encephalitis. Because some goats are carriers who never display any symptoms, it is possible to buy infected animals and introduce this disease into a previously uninfected herd. 46
  47. 47. Listeriosis Listeriosis is brought on by:  Feeding moldy silage Suddenly changing type and kind of feed (grain or hay) Parasitism Dramatic weather changes Advanced stages of pregnancy The encephalitic form is most common, causing inflammation of the nerves in the goat's brain stem. 47
  48. 48. Listeriosis Symptoms include some or all of the following: Depression Decreased appetite Fever Leaning or stumbling or moving in one direction only, head pulled to flank with rigid neck Facial paralysis on one side Blindness Slack jaw, and drooling. 48
  49. 49. Listeriosis Diarrhea is present only in the strain of Listeriosis which causes abortions and pregnancy toxemia. Immediate treatment is critical. There is no time to waste with Listeriosis. Treatment involves administration of high doses of procaine penicillin (talk to your veterinarian regarding protocol). 49
  50. 50. Nitrate poisoning in goats The potential for high nitrate levels occurs when crops such as corn, sorghum, and some grasses are exposed to stress situations including drought, hail, frost, cloudy weather and fertility imbalance. The potential for nitrate poisoning is exasperated in crops that have been heavily fertilized with manure or nitrogen. Nitrate levels generally decrease somewhat during ensiling, as dangerous nitrogen oxide gas is formed. However, nitrate levels may increase in hay if it undergoes heating and molding in the bale. 50
  51. 51. Nitrate poisoning in goats Nitrate toxicity may result when animals suddenly consume large amounts of forage containing 2-3 % or more nitrate ion on a DM basis: Forage with lower levels may adversely affect reproduction or become toxic if animals are nutritionally stressed and suddenly eat large amounts of such forage. Animals may develop blue mucous membranes from lack of oxygen in the blood. Rumen paralysis may occur. Labored or difficult breathing may be observed. Animals may go down and die suddenly. 51
  52. 52. Nitrate poisoning in goats Subacute or chronic nitrate poisoning may result in more of the usual reproductive problems, including abortions. Milk production and appetite generally are not affected by subacute nitrate intake. Reproductive problems generally may be prevented if feeds are gradually introduced and the nitrate level in the total ration DM is kept below 0.40%. 52
  53. 53. Nitrate poisoning in goats Risk of nitrate poisoning may be reduced by the following: Do not harvest suspected crops for three to five days after an appreciable rain or long cloudy spell. Harvest as close to usual maturities as possible. Cut the crop somewhat higher above the ground than usual as nitrate often accumulates in stems. Contentious as forage is needed! The fermentation process will degrade 30-50% of the nitrates and there will be a dilution effect with other forages. 53
  54. 54. Nitrate poisoning in goats Gradually introduce suspected forage into the ration over a period of one to two weeks and don't feed it to hungry animals. Utilize suspected material for silage rather than green-crop (I never recommend green chop corn silage). Test all forages and water in the ration for nitrates if one forage contains over 1.0 percent nitrate on a DM basis. Feed at least 1.5-2.25 kg of concentrate per head per day when suspected forages are fed (dilution and energy). 54
  55. 55. Nitrate levels in forages for goats Nitrate Ion % 0.0-0.44 Nitrate Nitrogen ppm <1000 Recommendations Safe to feed under all conditions 0.44-0.66 1000-1500 Safe to feed to non-pregnant animals. Limit use for pregnant animals to 50% of total ration on a DM basis. 0.66-0.88 1500-2000 Safely fed if limited to 50% of the total DM ration. 2000-3500 Feeds should be limited to 35-40% of the total DM in the ration. Feeds over 2000 ppm nitrate nitrogen should not be fed to pregnant animals 1.54-1.76 3500-4000 Feeds limited to 25% of total DM in the ration. Do not feed to pregnant animals. Over 1.76 >4000 0.88-1.54 Feeds containing these levels are potentially toxic. DO NOT FEED. 55
  56. 56. Molds & Mycotoxins Weather conditions during growing and harvesting seasons may appreciably increase the incidence and degree of moldy feed and mycotoxin problems from year to year:   Fusarium toxins are more likely to occur under cool, wet conditions during growth, harvesting, and storage. Hot, humid conditions favor the development of aflatoxins. 56
  57. 57. Molds & Mycotoxins Delaying harvest to increase maturity and reduce moisture levels, or to avoid muddy field conditions, may result in increased mold growth and mycotoxin formation. Storing grains, feedstuffs, and forages at moisture levels beyond recommended ranges or in poor storage units also may increase mold-related problems. 57
  58. 58. Molds & Mycotoxins Moldy feed won't always contain mycotoxins, but the presence of considerable mold in itself may adversely affect production and health. Molds can have detrimental affects in cows when the immune system is suppressed during stressful periods. The effect of high mold loads can occur in locations such as the lungs, mammary gland, uterus, or intestine. In the field I have seen feed lot animals stop eating completely with disastrous results because of high mold load in high moisture corn. 58
  59. 59. Molds & Mycotoxins Under some conditions, molds may produce potent mycotoxins at levels that may adversely affect animal production and health such as higher incidence of disease, poor reproductive performance, or suboptimal milk production. There also is a potential public health concern when milk contain a level of aflatoxin, a potent carcinogen. The effects of mycotoxins are cumulative over a period of time and the presence of more than one mycotoxin may increase these effects. 59
  60. 60. Molds & Mycotoxins Mycotoxins may develop in almost any feedstuff during the growing season, at harvest, or during storage. While grains receive the most attention, by-product feeds, protein concentrates, finished feeds, oilseeds, wet brewers grains, food wastes, and forages may also contain mycotoxins. Whole-plant corn silage and haylage are more likely to be contaminated than hays. Heat-processing and ensiling do not destroy mycotoxins. 60
  61. 61. Molds & Mycotoxins It is important to note that signs of mycotoxin toxicity mimic those of other metabolic and infectious diseases:      Reduced intake or feed refusal Reduced nutrient absorption and impaired metabolism Altered endocrine and exocrine systems Suppressed immune function Altered microbial growth 61
  62. 62. Individual Mycotoxins  Aflatoxins are extremely toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic compounds.  Deoxynivalenol (DON) or Vomitoxin is commonly detected in feed.  T-2 toxin is a very potent mycotoxin that occurs in a low proportion of feed samples.  Zearalenone is a mycotoxin that has a chemical structure similar to estrogen and can produce an estrogenic response in cows.  Fumonsisin is much less potent in ruminants than in hogs, but it is toxic in ruminants. OTHERS… 62
  63. 63. Mycotoxins Testing Testing for mycotoxins should be considered when signs of potential effects on performance and health exist and cannot be readily explained. This is particularly important when moldy feeds are being fed or when marked changes in production or health have occurred among a relatively large proportion of animals. Analytical techniques for mycotoxins are improving and costs are lowering. 63
  64. 64. Treatment of Molds & Mycotoxins Eliminate other possible causes as soon as possible with the help of nutritionists, veterinarians and other consultants. Properly adjust energy contents of any moldy feeds or lightweight grains in the ration. Clean moldy grains and remove fines from whole grains suspected of having mycotoxins. Adding mycotoxin binders to contaminated diets has been considered the most promising dietary approach to reduce effects of mycotoxins. 64
  65. 65. Treatment of Molds & Mycotoxins Test the ration or most of its components for mycotoxins. Consider testing to help eliminate other possible causes of the adverse effects. Other tests on feed, disease testing via feces, blood, and possibly metabolic profiling may be necessary. Discontinue or severely restrict use of obviously moldy feed or suspected non-moldy feed pending test reports. 65
  66. 66. Treatment of Molds & Mycotoxins Animals a few weeks to several months of age are more susceptible to mold and mycotoxin problems. Likewise, animals close to parturition or in early lactation are more sensitive to mold and mycotoxins. 66
  67. 67. Considerations When Feeding a Goat Herd a TMR What are the advantages of TMR feeding? Each mouthful of feed that the goat consumes contains the proper amount of ingredients for a balanced ration. This results in a more stable and ideal environment for the rumen microbes The incidence of digestive and metabolic problems often decreases. A TMR provides greater accuracy in formulation and feeding if managed properly. Using feed scales allows the quantity of each ingredient fed to be closely controlled. 67
  68. 68. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 1.They over mix. Most mixers call for 3 to 10 minutes of mixing time after all ingredients have been added. Over mixing will cause separation of ingredients (especially if the mix is dry), reduced forage particle size and pulverize the feed. 68
  69. 69. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 1. They over mix. Most mixers call for 3 to 10 minutes of mixing time after all ingredients have been added. Over mixing will cause separation of ingredients (especially if the mix is dry), reduced forage particle size and pulverize the feed, leading to digestive upset, displaced abomasums, laminitis and reduced butter fat. 69
  70. 70. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 2.They don’t moisture test. TMR feeding forces animals to eat a specific amount of forage. The disadvantage can occur if the moisture content of the forage is not watched constantly. For example, if the TMR calls for 3 kg of haylage at 50% moisture this provides 1.5 kg of DM. But, if the moisture of the haylage changes to 60%, this would provide 1.2 kg of DM. This would leave the ration deficient in fibre and protein. This would leave the ration deficient in fibre and protein. 70
  71. 71. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 3. They feed free-choice forage. Baled hay fed separately from the TMR can be necessary if there is a shortage of eNDF in the TMR. Generally, nutritionists agree that a small amount of hay fed separately from the TMR is acceptable. However, feeding hay separately can cause more problems than it prevents. The problem occurs when goats are given a choice between the TMR and baled hay. 71
  72. 72. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders In order to meet fibre requirements, the goat must consume her specified amount of baled hay. If the goat does not eat any hay, her ration will consist entirely of the TMR. This TMR probably contains 16 to 17% ADF, so once again she is in an acidosis-prone situation. If a goat over consumes hay and does not eat her TMR, she is shortchanging herself in terms of by-pass proteins and dense energy feeds. 72
  73. 73. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 4. They top-dressing. Top-dressing can have its place with some TMR’s but there must be EXCELLENT communication between the nutritionist and the producer. New TMR users are reluctant to believe animals can get all the grain or protein she needs out of the TMR. Therefore, they have a tendency to overdo the top-dress. 73
  74. 74. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders Once again, the TMR becomes unbalanced and the forage-to-concentrate ratio actually consumed is not what is listed on the ration report. To avoid these problems, top-dress only the amount called for on the ration report. Anything else can cause acidosis . Also, allow animals enough time after kidding to adjust to the TMR before introducing additional top-dress grain. 74
  75. 75. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 5. They change batch size incorrectly. This mistake usually begins when animals don’t eat the amount of feed listed on the ration report. The producer decides that grain and protein are the most important and makes sure the animals get all of the grain and protein called for. He then cuts back on forage so the goats clean up the mix. This is possibly the biggest “no-no” for TMR users. 75
  76. 76. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders The greatest advantage of a balanced TMR is that every bite contains the correct amounts of forage and concentrates. If animals aren’t eating the projected amount, never cut back on one ingredient. Keep everything in the same ratio and cut back on the total kg’s of TMR fed. Have your nutritionist reformulate your ration so it is closer to actual consumption. 76
  77. 77. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders 6.Mixing errors. Errors in mixing cause the bunk ration to be different from the formulated ration. A good way to stay on top of the mixing errors is to take samples of the TMR routinely as it leaves the mixer. The analysis of these samples should be close to what is listed on the ration report. Taking samples toward the beginning, middle and end of the TMR load-out helps you check on separation during mixing and unloading. 77
  78. 78. The Six Most Common Mistakes of TMR Feeders Avoid mixing errors by occasionally verifying the accuracy of your scale by weighing an object of known weight such as a feedbag. Also, resist the temptation to take a shortcut and not use the scale on some ingredients. 78
  79. 79. Thank you! 79

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