Grouping is to concentrate cattle with the same physiological conditions and production performance in a herd, which has the advantage of tapping the productive potential of each cow. We can divide cattle into calves, replacement cow and adult lactating cows according to different physiological stages. The calf stage is 0 - 6 months old, and the replacement cow is 6 months old - before delivery. Adult lactating cows include milking cows, dry cows, and perinatal cows.
The Significance of Grouping
By grouping, the feed, cowshed, personnel and other resources of the ranch are allocated optimally, and the cows are provided with the most economical and reasonable nutrition. The potential of the cattle is fully exploited, the utilization rate of feed is the highest, and the production efficiency is the best.
1. The Significance of Grouping Adult Lactating Cows
Reduce cost and improve economic efficiency.
Primiparous and High-yielding cattle need more nutrients because of the rapid increase in milk production, fast metabolism and high nutrient concentration. In these two stages, they should be fed with high nutrient concentration. However, due to the decline of milk production, the nutrient requirement of middle-and low-yield cows also decreased correspondingly. At this stage, cows should give low-concentration feed. This requires us to formulate different feed formulations and feed in groups.
It is convenient for unified management.
Put the matched cattle together is conducive to the observation and breeding of estrus and the dairy cattle together 0-20 days after delivery is conducive to the nursing of them. The Primiparous cows are very weak after delivery. They can not compete with other cattle in feeding, drinking water and bed rest if compared with other cattle. When cattle are put together, they will cause diseases of dairy cows and eventually be eliminated.
2. The Significance of Replacement Cows and Calves
An important step in raising calves and replacement cows is to divide them into groups. Cattle with the same size and the same nutritional needs are fed in groups, which avoids a series of competition in feeding among individual cattle and realizes the balanced growth of replacement cows and calves. Besides, the replacement cows that meet the breeding conditions can be put together to facilitate the observation of estrus and mating.
The Principle of Grouping
1. The Principle of Grouping Adult Lactating Cows
A short distance from the dairy hall and better conditions of cowshed should give priority to dairy cattle and high-yielding cattle. The density of new cattle does not exceed 80%, the density of high, middle and low - yielding cattle does not exceed 90%.
Other cattle are grouped according to yield, postpartum days, body condition, pregnancy, and other factors.
According to the report of ranch production once a month, there should be no fewer than 5 cows in each group. The main purpose is to reduce the stress of dairy cows.
2. Grouping of Replacement Cattle and Calves
Cattle of similar size were put together, and the replacement cattle were separated from the matched and pregnant cattle. Calves must be transferred in batches during herding. Weaned calves with no more than 15 heads per herd are the best. The main reason is to avoid the stress of calves and the death of calves.
Milking cows are grouped according to the actual production situation of the ranch, focusing on the milk production, postpartum days, body condition, parity, gestation days, number of cows in the milking hall, the size of the enclosure and the number of neck racks.
1. Groups should be separated from the first-born cattle and the cattle that produce milk. The cows with similar milk yield should be grouped and the milk yield should be counted continuously for 3-7 days.
2. Dairy cows with similar postpartum days are divided into groups to ensure the same level of feeding and management.
3. Body condition score, body condition score is the same in a group. Cattle with poor body condition score are transferred to the high-yielding cowshed, and cattle with high body condition evaluation are transferred to middle-low-yielding cattle. Pregnancy examination should be carried out in time after mating, and fetal cattle and empty cows should be fed separately.
4. The number of cow heads is less than the number of neck clips and bedridden. The distribution and size of the cowshed should be matched with the number of cow heads.
Grouping basis of Replacement cattle and calves
1. The replacement cattle were fed separately in groups according to their physical condition.
2. To weigh and record the height and weight of calves and replacement cattle, and to weigh calves at weaning time to achieve weaning weight. When the replacement cattle reach 130cm, they are put into the mating barn to start breeding.
3. According to the age of calves and replacement cattle, the diseased cattle were treated in isolation.
4. Pregnant cattle and big fetus cattle were fed in groups according to the results of the pregnancy test of matched cattle.
A Grouping Scheme for Calves
1. For lactating calves aged 0-2 months, we must do a good job in umbilical cord disinfection, colostrum feeding, normal milk feeding, environmental hygiene, ventilation and other aspects during this period.
2. Weaning calves are 2-6 months old. This stage is the fastest growing period of calves. They should be grouped strictly according to their size.
Grouping Scheme of Replacement Cattle
1. Bred cattle is 6-13 months old, this stage is an important period of growth and development of dairy cows, but also a period of gradual sexual maturity of dairy cows, they should be allowed to develop as much as possible.
2. The age of young cows is 13-15 months. This stage is the body maturation period of cows and the initial mating period of cows.
3. Pregnant young cows are 15-24 months old. This stage is the gestation period of cows and the key period of mammary gland development.
4. 21 days before the birth of young perinatal cattle, this stage is the preparation period for cow primipara and lactation and the transition period from replacement cattle to milking cattle. First, the best feeding conditions should be given to cows in this period, to maximize their dry matter intake and prepare for the upcoming lactation.
Grouping Scheme for Adult Lactating Cows
1. Dry dairy cows are injected with broad-spectrum, highly effective and penetrating antibiotics in the breast during the period from the stop date to 21 days before delivery. At this stage, they are given TMR feed with a large filling, low energy, and low protein, to restore the limb and foot, gastrointestinal and mammary gland systems of dairy cows.
2. Perinatal cattle, 21 days before delivery to the period of delivery. To ensure that the gastrointestinal system can adapt to the high-energy and high-protein feed of milking cows, the best feeding conditions should be given to keep the maximum dry matter intake.
3. Primiparous cattle, 20 days after delivery, is the rising period of milking. Because of the negative energy balance, the best roughage must be given to primiparous cattle to ensure dry matter intake.
4. High-yielding cows, milking cows from 20 to 150 days after delivery, must be given TMR with high energy and protein because of their high milk yield, fast metabolism, and high nutrient requirement. After the pregnancy test, the matched cattle and the fetal cattle were separated.
5. Medium-yielding cattle, milking cows from 150-250 days after delivery, during this period most of the cattle have been pregnant, milk production decreased. Considering the feeding cost, the nutrient concentration of feed can be reduced appropriately.
6. Low-yielding cattle, milking cows from 250-dry milk period after delivery. We should do a good job of scoring body condition and prevent cows from overweight or too thin. Due to the further decrease in milk production, feed with low nutrient concentration was given to reduce feed cost.
By grouping, we can formulate the TMR formula according to the production level and nutritional needs of each group of dairy cows, which can meet the nutritional needs of dairy cows and save feed costs. It is the precondition of high yield and health of dairy cows.