Running a profitable livestock operation depends on good animal nutrition. For optimal health, animals need a properly balanced ration that supplies all the energy and nutritional components they need. A good feed ration helps maximize milk production for dairy cattle and weight gain in beef cattle.
Selecting a total mixed ration (TMR) that incorporates all necessary animal inputs is a good first step. Feeding a TMR provides many benefits: it reduces labour; decreases feed waste; and increases a farmer’s ability to control what is being consumed.
Once the best ration is chosen, it is also important to ensure proper mixing. The ideal TMR ration, when mixed correctly, will be uniform so all animals get the same balanced nutrition in every bite, and cannot selectively consume different components. This ensures optimal nutrition, production and, ultimately, profit.
TMR mixers are available as trailer, truck or stationary models, and there are a variety of types that offer different advantages. For example, reel mixers feature a reel and two side augers, and provide a good quality feed mix in less time with minimal breakdown.
By comparison, four-auger mixers produce a high-density ration. Vertical mixers are versatile in mixing different feedstuffs and require the most horsepower.
During Ag in Motion, livestock producers will have the chance to see a side-by-side comparison of TMR mixers from four to six different participants, including:
Each mixer will be loaded with ingredients. A set mixing time will be allowed, and then all rations will be laid down side-by-side for comparison. Mix time, operation and finished product will be considered.
On Dairy Day, Tuesday, July 16, the TMR mixer demonstrations will be tailored to dairy cattle. On Wednesday and Thursday, July 17 and 18, the demonstrations will be tailored to beef cattle. This is a great opportunity for producers to compare and contrast mixing system options for increased livestock production efficiency.
The TMR Mixer demonstration takes place at 1:00 p.m. daily in the Southwest Demo Field.
See TMR mixing systems demonstrated side-by-side daily during Ag in Motion, south of the Cattle Handling Area on the South Service Road.