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Decrease Labour and Waste with a Total Mixed Ration

Dairy and Beef Cattle Can Benefit from a TMR

Nutrition and feed conversion is a critical factor in profitability in any livestock operation. A properly balanced ration ensures animals are supplied with the all the nutrition components and energy they need to be healthy and to maximize milk production for dairy cattle and weight gain in beef cattle.

Rations are typically fed as a total mixed ration (TMR) that incorporates all inputs. When feeding a TMR, it’s important that the ration is mixed correctly to ensure it is truly balanced for all animals to maximize production and profits. Feeding a TMR correctly balanced to nutrient specifications can increase milk production 1 to 2.5 kg per cow per day in dairy cattle and increase growth in beef cattle due to a well-balanced ration.

Different TMR mixers are available depending on needs and result in different rations. Reel mixers feature a reel and two side-augers, provides a good mix quality in a shorter amount of time, and has minimal feed breakdown. Four-auger mixers produce a high-density ration with less “fluffy” feed. Vertical mixers are versatile in mixing different feedstuffs and requires the most horsepower. TMR mixers are available as trailer, truck, or stationary models.

The goal of any TMR ration is to have a uniform, well-mixed ration that ensures cattle get the same nutrition in every bite and do not have the opportunity to selectively consume different components. This is to ensure optimal nutrition and production from each animal. There is a host of benefits to feeding a TMR, including reducing labour, decreasing feed waste, and increased control over what is consumed (including supplements and volume of feed).

During Ag in MotionTM , attendees will be able to see three different pull TMR mixers in action, each working with the same inputs to create different rations. On Tuesday, rations will be tailored to the needs of a dairy animal, with Wednesday and Thursday being specific to beef cattle. The demonstration will have each mixer loaded with the ingredients. A set amount of time will be given to mix and then all the rations will be laid down for side-by-side comparison. Mix time, operation, and finished product will be considered.

The KEENAN Mechfiber series 6-paddle horizontal mixer from Alltech, the CFR 1251 from Highline Manufacturing, and a TMR mixer from NDE Co. will be showcased daily in the Southwest Demo Field.

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