It is emphasised that the feeding regime of animals in the dry period, particularly near the time of parturition, is intended to prepare them for the coming lactation. The length of the dry period, the body reserves (fat depots), and parity are influencing factors. Strategic planning of feeding aims to maintain body reserves at the end of the dry period when feed intake usually decreases; feed with a high energy value is preferable. Increasing feeding at this stage also prepares the rumen for the greater feed intake that is desirable for good milk production; the physiological basis for this is discussed. Feeding in the dry period also aims to increase milk protein production and build up reserves of minerals, especially calcium.
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|