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Progressive feeding after birth maintains milk output

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Gradual in­cre­ment of dairy meal served to the cows soon after par­tur­i­tion keep milk yields steady past the two first peak months.

 An in­crease of between a half a kilo and one kilo of the dairy meal im­proves the food re­serves in the cow, al­though its ap­pet­ite re­mains low in the first two month of de­liv­ery.

“Milk let down after par­tur­i­tion is im­press­ive be­cause of the high con­cen­tra­tion of hor­mones as well as ac­cu­mu­la­tion.  The drop is im­min­ent in a month or so des­pite the rise in the ap­pet­ite of the cow. That is why an in­crease in the meal would keep the milk pro­duc­tion steady up to two months to the next calv­ing down,” Kaka­mega Pris­ons of­ficer in charge of farm­ing, Fre­drick Misoi said.

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The feed in­cre­ment is re­l­at­ive to the size and breed of the cow. For in­stance, if the cow is to be given 10kg of dairy meal per day, it can be in­creased gradu­ally with half or a kilo. Ay­shires can be given a half while a Friesian will re­ceive one kilo in­cre­ment.

In­creas­ing the ra­tion as the ap­pet­ite in­creases en­sures that the cow re­cov­ers and sta­bil­ises in terms of body muscle re­build­ing, milk hor­mones up­lifts as well as min­eral de­pos­its after the ‘losses’ dur­ing gest­a­tion.

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At least 60 litres of water per day must be avail­able daily. Be­sides in­clu­sion of pro­tein boost­ing feeds such as Lu­cerne and cal­li­andra, con­cen­trates can be made loc­ally from maize or rice jam missed with sun­flower as the source of pro­teins. Rice jam and sun­flower have to be missed in the ra­tion of four kilos to one kilo re­spect­ively.

In­crease in grain in­take is done at a one per cent to two per cent de­pend­ing on the body weight.

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