How to Increase Dairy Production: 3 Surprising Tips

Dairy farmer stands in front of his cows and uses a tablet to record milk production data

A cow that is milking can eat about 100 pounds of feed each day. That adds up. So, if you run a dairy farm, you obviously want to get as much milk as possible out of your feed costs. In this post, we’ll share three tips for helping your dairy cows meet or exceed the production average of six-to-seven gallons of milk per day.

1. Cows that Rest Longer Produce More Milk

Believe it or not, even a small increase in the amount of time your cows spend lying down can have a big impact on dairy production. Why? Well, it all comes down to blood flow to the cow’s udder. Simply put, when a cow lies down, blood flow is 25-30% faster, according to some estimates. Even just one extra hour of down time per day can make a real difference in your milk tank.

2. Dairy Cows Love a Predictable Routine

Humans are creatures of habit. And, as it turns out, dairy cows are too. This is why dairy farmers should feed and milk their cows at regular, consistent times throughout the week. Not only this, your cows appreciate order in all aspects of their lives. That means it’s not enough to merely feed and water your cows adequately. You need to make sure they’re comfortable. And if you think it’s overkill to spend so much time worrying about the happiness of your cows, consider this: dairy cows are among the best revenue sources on any farm. When you put it that way, it doesn’t make sense not to.

3. Don’t Forget about Your Dry Dairy Cows

Dairy cows that are currently giving milk tend to get most of the attention. But, as the University of Minnesota points out, dry period nutrition and postpartum health has a bottom-line impact on milk cow performance. Here’s what dairy farmers should focus on during the dry period:

  • Maintain dry matter intake
  • Avoid overfeeding
  • Prevent BCS gain
  • Ensure comfort
  • Monitor hoof health

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