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Feeding Dairy Cattle

( Originally Published 1912 )

Dairy cows require different feed than beef cattle.

We should not feed much fat-forming foods, as our cows would lay on fat instead of producing milk. Feed more silage or roots in the winter season. Daily feed for a 1,000 pound cow:

Give thirty to forty pounds of ensilage; seven to ten pounds of clover or alfalfa hay and eight to ten pounds of grain.

The writer has been most successful in giving official records to the cows on his own stock farm by feeding the following mixture as a grain ration.

Ajax, 125 lbs. Bran, 100 lbs. Ground Oats, 100 lbs. Corn Meal, 75 lbs. Oil Cake Meal, 50 lbs.

A good rule to follow in feeding this mixture is to feed a cow one pound to every three pounds of milk she gives. This amount may be increased a little when forcing a cow for an official record. Heavy Milkers should be watered three or four times daily and the water should always be luke warm. The cows that are soon to calve should be fed on succulent feed, such as silage or roots, bran, ground oats and a small amount of ground Oil Cake.

Keep the bowels open and do not feed very heavy on grains just before or after calving. After calving give a hot bran mash and warm the drinking water for a few days. Before allowing the calf to suck, wash off the cow's udder with Antisepto solution as this prevents intestinal poisoning. Allow the calf to suck for about two days and then feed from a pail his mother's milk for two weeks, about three quarts twice a day or about two quarts three times a day; after that reduce it with skim milk and Dr. Roberts' Calf Meal, so that at the end of the fourth week the calf will be getting all skim milk with Calf Meal, which takes the place of whole milk. The Calf Meal is a valuable food which aids digestion, and has a great tendency to prevent scours.

Keep a supply of good clover or upland hay within reach, and also some ground oats with a little Calf Meal mixed with it. After the calf eats the ground feed, gradually get him accustomed to eating whole corn and oats, as this is the best feed for him up to six months old. The heifers should not be bred until about 15 to 18 months old.

A good time to dehorn calves is when they are a few days old. Use Horn Killer (see prescription No. 26, page 175.) Mark them with a number tag so you can keep a record of them.

Keep a record of the breeding of each cow, so you will know when she is due to calve, and then allow her to go dry for six weeks before calving.

The dairy bull should be fed like a working horse and should receive plenty of exercise. You may work him in a tread power.

The milking is one of the most important parts of the dairy business. The cows should be milked quickly, cleanly and quietly. Do not excite your cows, or they will not let their milk down. Don't lick a cow because she kicks. If she kicks, there is some cause for it. Look for the cause and remedy it. It may be a sore teat; it may be an inflamed udder, or it may be that she has been misused and regards her milker as an enemy that she must fight. If such is the case, treat her kindly and she will soon learn that you are not going to harm her.

Clip the long hair off the udder flanks and tail, and wipe off the udder with a damp cloth before milking, and you will be surprised to see how much cleaner the milk will be.

Weigh each cow's milk with an accurate scale and test the milk with the Babcock tester and you will be able to see how many of your cows are paying for themselves.

To test milk for butter fat you must have a Babcock Tester and bottle. Measure the milk with a pipette. Measure 17.6 c. c. (cubic centimeters) of milk with the pipette and put in the test bottle. To this add 17.5 c. c. of sulphuric acid and mix by shaking.

Then put in the tester and run the tester for five minutes, then add enough warm water to bring the butter fat up into the graduated neck of the bottle where it can be read. Run the tester one minute more and your test is ready to read.

You know how many pounds of milk your cow gives and how much it tests. Now, to find how much butter she is producing: Multiply the pounds of milk by the per cent of butter fat, then multiply by one and one-sixth and this will give you the amount. For example, your cow gives in one day 38 pounds of milk testing 4.2 per cent. You multiply 38 pounds of milk by

.042 butter fat.



1.596 pounds butter fat.

One pound of butter fat will make 1 1/6 pounds of butter; so you multiply 1.596X1 1/6=1.862 pounds butter.

This shows just how much butter your cow is producing a day.

If you sell your butter at 25c per pound your cow is earning for you 46 cents a day.

1.862 pounds butter.

$ .25




From this subtract the cost of feed and you will have the net earnings of your cow.


Waterloo, Iowa, 12-12-'10 Dr. David Roberts,

Waukesha, Wis.

Dear Doctor :

I am sending you a photo-graph of the Grand Champion Guernsey cow, Bo-Peep, which I called you to Chicago to treat.

She arrived home from the National Dairy Show in excellent condition and I very much appreciate the professional attention that you gave her while there.

Yours very truly,


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