DAIRYING TIPS: From A Successful Thai Dairy Farmer

SURAPONG PEANPRASOP is a successful dairy farmer in Tamung, Kanjanaburi, Thailand. Here are practical tips we got in an interview with him sometime back.During peak lactation one can give him 28 to 34 liters of milk per day.

He observes that during the first month after calving, the cow usually produces a lot of milk but does not have a good appetite. She needs enough nutrients to sustain her high milk production, so he feeds her with what he calls “power feed” which is a ration with high protein and energy content of 19 to 25 percent.Although he usually gives six kilos of power feed per head, that’s enough to maintain the good health of his animal.

Even before the animal is scheduled to give birth, the cow should never be too fat nor too skinny. When the cow is too fat, it usually suffers from acidosis. This is bad for the cow because the inside of the rumen and the intestines will be too acidic and will kill the beneficial microorganism inside the cow. Because of this, the nutrients in the feed are not properly digested.

If the cow is too skinny, it cannot sustain high milk yield. He does not recommend feeding the lactating animals with fresh grass and concentrate. He prefers dry materials to go with the concentrate such as dried corn husk or rice straw. A higher dry matter content in the feed is needed by the milking animals.

Surapong has his own feed mill so he mixes his own feed. That way he is sure of the quality of the feed that he gives to his cows. He also produces his own silage for feeding. Four hectares out of the 6-hectare farm are devoted to the production of corn and grasses for silage making.

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