Formulating home made rations for dairy cattle

Nutritional problems in terms of quantity and quality of feeds are the most critical constraints to milk production. The current low levels of milk production do not reflect the genetic potential of most dairy breeds of cattle reared in Kenya.

Low amount of forage to meet the nutritional requirements of the animal is made worse by low nutritive value and poor knowledge by livestock farmers on formulating rations based on dairy cattle nutrient requirements.

The current feeding practice in most small holder farms is such that cattle subsist on naturalDairy cow feeding pastures obtained either within the homestead, communal grazing areas or along the roadside. There is however, an increasing trend towards stall feeding or zero grazing where Napier grass is the principal fodder and other feedstuff such as cereal stovers, banana residues and weeds are used as supplements.

Although commercially produced feeds offer a potential option of optimizing feed availability in order to meet the daily requirements of the dairy cow, they are usually costly and some have issues with quality and this has tended to discourage farmers. Home made rations can be a solution to the problem of cost and quality.

In formulating a ration for dairy cows to achieve high levels of milk production, one should aim at providing a diet that contains all nutrients required by farm animals. Energy, proteins and minerals are the three essential feed ingredients that are required by the animal for growth, maintenance and for production in terms of milk and/or pregnancy. These are generally recognized first in feed rationing. Other ingredients include vitamins. These should be availed in the required levels for normal functioning of the dairy cow and support milk production.

Ideally the farmer should provide the cow with home grown feeds to meet its maintenance requirements and any additional nutrients for production should be obtained from concentrates.

Due to the high costs of bought feeds, the farmer should as much as possible strive to make use of home grown feeds. Well prepared hay, maize meal, napier grass, legumes and crop byproducts such as sunflower heads with seed, maize stover/cobs and sweet potato vines can be used in formulating balanced rations on the farm thereby reducing the cost of feeding.

Factors to consider in ration formulation

1. Acceptability to the animal. The ration being formulated has to be palatable enough to stimulate intake by the animal. Feed refused by the animal is worthless.
2. Digestibility. The nutrients in the feed have to be digested and released into the gastrointestinal tract to be utilized by the animal.

3.   Cost. The least-cost ration should ensure that all requirements of the animal are met and the desired objectives are achieved.

4.   Presence of anti-nutritional factors and toxins. Anti-trypsin factor in soybean meal, affects the digestion of some nutrients by making them unavailable to the animal. Some feed ingredients may also contain toxic substances, which may be detrimental to the animal when given in excessive amounts. The inclusion of these feed ingredients should therefore be limited or eliminated from the formulation.

Energy sources

These include maize, barley, oats and sorghum. By products are also used as energy e.g. bran, pollard, maize and rice polishing.

Protein sources

Include fishmeal, cottonseed cake, ground nut cake, sunflower cake and coconut oil cake.

Basal feed

This constitutes the bulk of what the animal eats, are generally roughages and can be categorized as those relatively high in proteins e.g. Lucerne, herbaceous legumes such as Desmodium and fodder trees such as Leucaena, Calliandra, Sesbania and Gliricidia; and those low in protein such as napier grass, sweet potato vines, cassava leaves and maize leaves.

Commercial supplements

These are either protein or energy concentrates generally low in fibre. The protein sources are mainly derived from oil seeds e.g. cotton seed, groundnut seed, and soyabean seed cakes. Energy sources are derived from cereal and cereal by-products e.g. maize and wheat bran / germs and rice bran. Others are urea, molasses and mineral supplements.

Methods in ration formulation

Home made rations are formulated from feed resources which are locally available within the farm or can be cheaply bought. Once you identify the most cost effective feed materials which can satisfy the nutrient requirements of the dairy cow, the next step is to combine the feeds in such ratios as to minimize costs and optimize the nutrient composition of the resulting diet.

There are several methods of determining the quantities to mix. These include:-

  • The Pearson square – used when the number of feed types is two or at most four. It becomes cumbersome when the number of feed ingredients is higher.
  • Simultaneous equation – appropriate when mixing more than two ingredients to formulate the feed.
  • Computer programs – used for complex mixing where several ingredients are involved.

Energy and protein are more often than not the most limiting nutrients and therefore the most critical and the object is to know the energy and protein content of the feed ingredients. The desired energy and protein levels of the resultant feed mixture become the focal point in the calculations. Other supplements like minerals and vitamins as well as feed additives such as antibiotics can be added. The chemical composition of the various feed ingredients at your disposal therefore becomes very important.

The next critical object is to know the nutrient requirements of the animal you wish to feed. For example nutrient requirements for heifer are less demanding compared to a lactating cow. If in doubt you can seek advice from animal nutritionists or consult tables on feeding standard for different categories of livestock available from the Kenya Bureau of Standards or the National Research Council.

The use of two or three cheaply available farm feed materials to formulate a ration is by far the most cost effective way to increase production and profits within a dairy farm. Currently there are feed formulators who use computer programs and complex matrices to arrive at precise quantities of various feedstuff required to make a diet of desired protein, energy and mineral levels. These can help the farmers to use the various feed materials within the farm to make a ration for their animals

The feedstuff so used to compound a ration should be mixed homogeneously to have a uniform diet. In the absence of a mechanical mixer, the farmer should first measure the required amounts then mix a small amount and adding small quantities at a time all the while mixing thoroughly. Have the diet in the optimum texture so that the animal eats with ease.


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Dennis
-4 # Dennis 2011-10-22 16:10
Hi, am setting a dairy farm and Would like advise on cow feed rations for maximum milk production
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Peter Chege
+8 # Peter Chege 2012-02-13 17:25
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock
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kevin muli
-1 # kevin muli 2012-11-08 21:19
hi, please send me the formulation for quality livestock feeds
Thanx
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gikanga
0 # gikanga 2015-07-30 12:35
Quoting Peter Chege:
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock

Peter Chege kindly call this no 0721890947 thanks in advance
Quoting Peter Chege:
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
Rose Wambu
0 # Rose Wambu 2016-09-24 10:57
Quoting gikanga:
Quoting Peter Chege:
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock

Peter Chege kindly call this no 0721890947 thanks in advance
Quoting Peter Chege:
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
eliud
0 # eliud 2016-05-28 18:34
give the formulation and where can i source for wheat pollard and wheat bran in uganda
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Chepkwony K J
+3 # Chepkwony K J 2014-04-04 12:04
Hi Dennis,

Kindly send me the dairy feed formula.

Kind regards,

John.
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that good
-1 # that good 2014-11-16 20:17
tankx u
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Fredrick mwangi
-3 # Fredrick mwangi 2011-10-22 20:31
Very useful infomation.
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Wachira
-1 # Wachira 2011-11-13 13:27
Wholesome info. just put in the nutrient requirements tables to make it complete.
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Peter Chege
+1 # Peter Chege 2012-02-13 17:28
Quote:
Wholesome info. just put in the nutrient requirements tables to make it complete.
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
Maina karanja
+1 # Maina karanja 2015-01-09 17:31
Quote for formula and materials source reqrd
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peter
0 # peter 2012-01-02 14:35
hi do you want the complete formulation including where you can buy the raw materials? visit www.formulationgoods.kbo.co.ke or email
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ERNEST NGUGI
-4 # ERNEST NGUGI 2012-02-03 12:04
yes i want complete formulation of cow feeds and where i can get raw materials.
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Peter Chege
0 # Peter Chege 2012-02-13 17:21
For formulation of quality livestock feeds email
Currently you can save between kshs400 to kshs 550 per 70 kg bag if you make feeds for your livestock
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
shadrach mogire
-1 # shadrach mogire 2012-03-26 09:23
Good work please. God bless you.
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kaaga holstein farm
+1 # kaaga holstein farm 2012-05-02 15:12
hi peter
am questing for formulation to make my own dairy meal.
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jeff daktaree
-2 # jeff daktaree 2012-08-01 13:41
do you have the job for a trained farm manager/ vet.call 0720915136
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mickey
0 # mickey 2013-08-02 15:08
send ur cv to in Nigeria.are u verse in GIR AND GIROLANDO
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Fredrick kirui
+2 # Fredrick kirui 2012-05-03 17:06
I want to start a dairy farm and needs to formulate a low cost feeds.Please advise.
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festus
0 # festus 2012-05-04 13:52
hi.
please give me the details and location of where i can get these ingredients.
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Tarime Suppliers
0 # Tarime Suppliers 2012-05-17 12:51
We have all the feeds raw materials in stock call 0729099550. We are at City Stadium behind Ukwala Super market. We sell in bulk and also in small quantities as per your requirements. We can also do the mixing for you.
Karibu
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Agrotunnel Internati
-2 # Agrotunnel Internati 2012-06-08 15:45
we are developing greenhouse growing system for fodder ready in six days to feed animals
call 0722520083 for info
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Ndayambaje obadiah
-1 # Ndayambaje obadiah 2015-05-13 16:45
hi iam animal specialist ineed dat techinology in uganda how can i get it
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JOSHUA GATHII
+2 # JOSHUA GATHII 2012-07-19 22:12
interested in udder management of a dairy cow.double the milk production of your dairy cows in 90days.contact 0728472490.
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jeff daktaree
0 # jeff daktaree 2012-08-01 13:38
am a trained farm manager and vet from ahiti kabete and will help any interested serious farmer after a job employment
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venkat
0 # venkat 2012-10-16 21:21
hi sir i have started dairy farm,i need ur help sir and im from india mobile no:+919500625555,+919585222288
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Stephen Kinuthia
-2 # Stephen Kinuthia 2013-08-03 17:15
Send me your CV on and salary expecations
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Peter Gichuku
0 # Peter Gichuku 2012-08-10 10:25
Hi livestock farmers,

We have fodder solution contact us and learn how to grow nutritious yet cost effective hydroponics fodder in 9 days feeding livestock with hydroponics fodder eliminates the need to feed your dairy cows with dairy meal and expensive mineral supplements.

You just need a simple growing shade,seeds,hydroponics fertilizer and trays.

For more information Call 0722956647 or email .visit www.formulationgoods.kbo.co.ke
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aimable rwema
0 # aimable rwema 2013-08-26 19:19
I need to learn how to grow hydroponics fodder in 9 days. Thx
Aimable Rwema
Email:
Mobile: +250788404952


Quoting Peter Gichuku:
Hi livestock farmers,

We have fodder solution contact us and learn how to grow nutritious yet cost effective hydroponics fodder in 9 days feeding livestock with hydroponics fodder eliminates the need to feed your dairy cows with dairy meal and expensive mineral supplements.

You just need a simple growing shade,seeds,hydroponics fertilizer and trays.

For more information Call 0722956647 or email .visit www.formulationgoods.kbo.co.ke
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
Ndayambaje obadiah
0 # Ndayambaje obadiah 2015-05-13 16:48
your web is not collect and iam intrested pliz help
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Alois wambua
-1 # Alois wambua 2015-07-31 10:22
Kindly advise on where to get the hydroponic fodder solution and how to grow it.Thanks
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Geoffrey koske
+1 # Geoffrey koske 2012-08-22 21:55
Good!I would wish i get formulation table and where to find genuine raw materials.Otherwise good dos men!!!!!
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alok ghosh
-2 # alok ghosh 2012-09-18 05:45
i have got 50 animals making our own ration d help in formulation ratio
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Susan Ngothi
-1 # Susan Ngothi 2013-11-25 17:53
I need help in formulation ratio for quality dairy meal, please
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karanja
+1 # karanja 2013-11-27 10:12
Hi susan.Please contact me on 0723546864 for a very good and cost effective formular
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Peter Mburu Mbugua
0 # Peter Mburu Mbugua 2015-03-21 22:52
i would like to be assisted with formulation
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njubi
-1 # njubi 2012-10-16 09:34
Hi good work.Am a trained vet in AHITI
and i have a vast expirience in dairy management please contact me on 0711404950 and you will see a difference in your herd.
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mickey
0 # mickey 2013-08-02 15:06
send ur cv to in Nigeria.are verse in GIR AND GIROLANDO
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Jonathan ekai
0 # Jonathan ekai 2013-09-22 14:57
Quoting mickey:
send ur cv to in Nigeria.are verse in GIR AND GIROLANDO

Hi
Am interested in the above breed u mentioned Gir and Girolando. Am intending to start dairy farming soon in Kenya. Any leads and advice pliz pass through . thanks
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Stephen Kinuthia
0 # Stephen Kinuthia 2013-08-03 17:10
Send me your CV on
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Fanob
0 # Fanob 2016-01-22 05:56
Hey very good information for tropical dairy farmers.
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haider
0 # haider 2012-11-27 19:12
hy i am running a small dairy farm i make my own feed so please tell how much percentage of fish meal i added in it or tell me the daily use of fish meal (per cattle )
thanks and regards
haider khosa
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mohammed buji
0 # mohammed buji 2012-12-16 18:42
thank God for coming across ur website in iternet.God bless your org. for assiting farmers world wide.
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mohammed buji
0 # mohammed buji 2012-12-16 18:45
a happy moment for my sickness in feeding lactating cows on my farm,as come across ur web site
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JOHN E MAINA MWANGI
+2 # JOHN E MAINA MWANGI 2013-03-20 13:57
Hi Please send me information on Animal Feeds Formulation.
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Charles Njoroge
0 # Charles Njoroge 2013-03-20 19:48
This is the formula:

1. Maize bran - 48.5 kgs
2. Sunflower/ cotton seed - 27.0 kgs
3. Fish meal 5.0 kgs
3. Rice polishing - 20 kgs
4. Maclick super, vital maziwa or Twiga lick - 2.5gs
5. Common salt - 0.5 kgs
6. premix(Lysine and methionine)- 0.5 kgs
7. Yest 5.0 kgs.

The mix will be APPX 100.00kgs. Mix them homogeneously starting from the smallest quantities and add them to the larger ones. Sawa?
You can reach me on 0720833506
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amin huseini
0 # amin huseini 2013-04-05 15:30
thank you for your contribution on this site iwill call you later
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Joan Shitandi
0 # Joan Shitandi 2014-03-05 12:09
Hi,
Thank you for your openness and willing to share I will be glad to be in touch am a daily farmer but am almost closing coz my cows can not self sustain
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Peter Mburu Mbugua
0 # Peter Mburu Mbugua 2015-03-21 20:28
am glad for the information since have been searching it for long
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Ndayambaje obadiah
0 # Ndayambaje obadiah 2015-05-13 16:57
how much per day thanks
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mburu joseph
0 # mburu joseph 2015-06-04 16:02
Whats the reason for starting with the least quantity?
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Julius Togom
+1 # Julius Togom 2013-05-20 14:39
i have boma rodhes grinded to unga like, also fresh one being cut at the farm and fed directly, there is nappier, grinded maize stock. is this not enough for the animal to be healthy and produce max milk
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WILLIAM OWINO
-1 # WILLIAM OWINO 2013-08-07 13:55
[google]milking photo of fleckvieh[/google]
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John Serem
0 # John Serem 2013-08-19 15:40
Very educative forum appreciated
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micah
0 # micah 2013-10-31 17:08
hae i read yourarticle so educative pliz if u dont mind send me the formular
and also on how to balance the supplement when feeding thank u
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Radhi Alminhaly
0 # Radhi Alminhaly 2013-12-17 11:06
hello i am looking for jersey cows for sale within mombasa.my cell 0733420608.
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NATHAN NWOSU
0 # NATHAN NWOSU 2014-06-23 14:14
Bulls semen available for Artificial Insemination for more information contact me on +2348132478092 or email at
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Ndayambaje obadiah
0 # Ndayambaje obadiah 2015-05-13 16:59
wat about embryo transfer
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Rwandengo
0 # Rwandengo 2014-09-19 00:14
hi,
can someone knowledgeable about wet brewers grain enlighten us on nutritive value, economics of feeding, and preservation techniques.(heard that common table salt in a closed container can preserve them.) please advise
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Mohamed
0 # Mohamed 2014-09-26 16:32
Hi,
I have a dairy Farm in Pakistan. I am suffering due to less milk production as well as reproduction. I also suffer cows mortality in July due to weakness of pregnant cows in hot & humid weather.
I need help in feed formulation which can improve milk production, reproduction and cow resistance for hot & humid weather from May to August. my email is
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Anne Ngatha
0 # Anne Ngatha 2014-10-16 14:26
Good afternoon,

Am looking for someone who is willing to buy maize for making fodder. I have like 35bags (90Kg) .
It is good maize grown last year with organic fertilizer. The problem is during the harvesting time it was raining. The ones that were not dry cracked otherwise this is good maize even for human consumption but doesnt look appealing coz of the cracked ones.

Thats why am selling for fodder.

Let me know if anyone out there is interested.
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babu
0 # babu 2014-11-11 15:21
what is the cattle feed price per kg
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Harrison kinyori
0 # Harrison kinyori 2015-01-05 22:33
Facebook
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hazem
0 # hazem 2015-04-25 12:42
software
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joe wachira
0 # joe wachira 2015-05-21 16:03
Hi, am setting a dairy farm and Would like advise on cow feed rations for maximum milk production
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sam kipkosgei
0 # sam kipkosgei 2015-08-16 09:50
good feed ratios formulation,i need a constant material supplier for the materials please be in touch with me giving me the prices of each through 0750374295,
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Natalia
-1 # Natalia 2015-10-15 07:53
Hi there friends, pleasant piece of writing and nice arguments commented here,
I am genuinely enjoying by these.
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Franklin bruno
0 # Franklin bruno 2015-11-14 19:47
I like Dairy Farming & hv 400 thou
sand how can I start this agribusiness please advise
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sam kipkosgei
0 # sam kipkosgei 2016-01-06 00:14
i am running an agribusiness consultancy firm dealing dealing with the market development,enterprise development,animal feed ratios and supply etc.for any more information feel free to cal me through +254750374295
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jacob5mushi
0 # jacob5mushi 2016-01-26 10:45
Hi Peter,

Please assist in how to formulate a quality dairy cow concentrate for the maximum milk production. The raw materials are sunflower cake, maize bran, rice mill feed, bone meal, brewers' yeast and blood meal

Thanks
Jacob
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anne koech
-1 # anne koech 2016-03-21 10:15
hii peter please assist me how to formulate a quality dairy cow concentrates. thank you
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Philip m o
0 # Philip m o 2016-06-12 07:28
Good work done
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0 # winfred 2017-03-05 13:20
good work
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