Reply To: Mineral Buffet General Discussion

  • theholisticgoat

    June 22, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    Cafeteria Style Free-Choice Mineral Feeder for
    Lactating Dairy Cows


    In two short trials we evaluated the
    cafeteria-type free-choice mineral feeder
    as a method of providing minerals and
    vitamins for lactating Holstein cows under two nutritional regimes. Trial 1 was
    16 wk in which two groups of cows in
    mid-lactation (10 cows/group) were
    group-fed rations with either corn silage
    or alfalfa hay as the sole forage, and all
    supplemental minerals and vitamins were
    provided free choice. Trial 2 was 9 wk in
    which two groups of cows in late-lactation (10 cows/group) were group fed
    rations of corn silage and alfalfa hay.
    Group 1 was force-fed minerals and vitamins in the grain ration while both groups
    had access to free-choice minerals. Intake
    was variable between weeks, and cows
    selectively consumed some minerals. Bentonite intake remained high during both
    trials. Little evidence was found that dairy
    cows offered minerals and vitamins free
    choice consumed to a specific appetite or
    need under the two nutritional regimes.