Feeds success
Management tips Cattle

Preventing feed selection - the only way rations work


In many dairy farms, a selection of the TMR takes place without this being noticed. The TMR selection influences the rations calculation. Read how you can recognise feed selection and what you can do to prevent it.

The problem of feed selection exists in many farms without being noticed. The selection of the Total Mixing Ration (TMR) questions each rations calculation. SCHAUMANN shows you how to recognise the problem and what to do about it.

Feed selection often goes unnoticed. An insufficient animal feeding table relationship exacerbates the problem. Lower-ranking, weaker or sickly animals are pushed aside at the trough and must be content with ‘leftovers’. Signs of feed selection are the following:

  • A nervous mood in the barn during feed presentation
  • Scrabbling and pushing in the TMR (‘hole feeding’)
  • Animals with good and bad rumen filling stand side by side
  • Different faeces consistency of the animals
  • Milk performance and ingredients scattering
  • Different body conditions

Altered TMR composition

As early as six hours after presentation, the TMR is completely changed and the composition deteriorates. Figure 1 shows the effect of feed selection based on our own investigations using a shaker box. In normal TMR, the proportion of concentrated feed decreases sharply compared to roughage. The proportions in the compact TMR show a uniform distribution, so the TMR remains tempting.

Without long soaking

In simplified SCHAUMANN compact TMR, the concentrated feed is mixed with water in the feed mixer. The concentrated feed is ‘stuck’ to the basic feed to prevent selective feeding of only concentrate parts of the TMR. To stabilise the rations against reheating, use SCHAUMASIL TMR (liquid) or SILOSTAR TMR PROTECT (granules). Figures 2 and 3 show an example of operations before and after the implementation of feeding with simplified compact TMR according to the SCHAUMANN concept. The variance of yield of individual animals could be significantly reduced.

Your advantages at a glance

  • Tranquillity in the barn even during feeding
  • Consistent quality of rations
  • Higher feed intake
  • Less variance of milk yield and contents
  • Uniform condition of the cows
  • Easier herd management
Evidence of feed selection
Fig. 1: Evidence of feed selection six hours after presentation with the shaker box
Variance of milk yield
Fig. 2: Broad variance of milk yield through inaccurate mixing of rations
constant milk yield
Fig. 3: Consistent milk yield through SCHAUMANN mixing instructions