Animal Nutrition
Cows require balanced diets to meet their maintenance, growth, reproductive and production needs. But it’s more than just feeding cows. Proper animal care demands a delicate balancing act to make sure cows get needed nutrition and crops receive proper nutrients. Basically there are two important aspects to optimal animal nutrition — what goes in the cow and what comes out of her.

Tuls Dairies’ animal nutrition experts and herd managers develop and customize healthy feed rations formulated to meet each cow’s nutritional requirements. Locally grown corn, corn silage, alfalfa and soy beans are combined to create a Total Mixed Ration (TMR) that meets each cow’s dietary needs. Every component of the TMR is regularly analyzed in our labs for protein, starch and mineral levels. Adjustments are made as necessary to ensure maximum nutrition. This sophisticated and technical analysis is done bi-weekly to meet each cow’s changing needs. Careful animal observations, such as weight gain/loss, milk production and milk protein and fat content are carefully monitored and help determine if adjustments to the TMR are needed.

Cow health is the most important aspect of animal nutrition because a healthy cow is a high-performing cow. Production of quality, healthy milk is the primary product of dairy farming.

There is another byproduct of dairies — manure — and proper animal nutrition is essential to effective manure management. Cows’ TMR are formulated to properly balance nitrogen and phosphorus levels in manure. At Tuls Dairies, our animal nutrition and nutrient management experts work closely together to ensure that cropland receives balanced nutrient levels. Using carefully balanced manure as fertilizer maximizes crop production and prevents runoff into water sources.

At Tuls Dairies, proper animal nutrition ensures that healthy cows produce quality milk. It is also part of a cycle of land stewardship — the farmer brings the feed to the dairy, it is fed to the cows, the manure is returned to the farmer as fertilizer and the cycle begins again.