The high milk production of cows depends on many factors. The most important of them include, a well-ventilated barn, a clean lair as well as a highly balanced feed. These factors translate into higher milk production. It is worth noting that the feed often used in feeding dairy cattle is haylage.
The weather and harvest time have an important role in this case:
- legumes should be harvested in the flat pod phase,
- in the case of papilionaceous plants, i.e. clover or alfalfa, the optimal moment will be the phase from budding to flowering
- for grasses, the harvesting period falls from the beginning of heading to its fullness,
- in the case of cereal mixtures, the grains must be observed and harvested in the dairy phase of barley or oats.
The time of day is important for the quality of haylage.
The time of day of mowing plays a very important role – due to the higher concentration of sugar in plants, it is recommended to mow around noon or in the afternoon, but not in the evening (high humidity).
An easy way to check the raw material is to twist it, a properly dried one should not ooz sap. Why is pre-drying so important? Proper drying causes an increase in sugar content, and thus, a more favorable environment for the development of lactic acid bacteria. However, it is worth remembering that fermentation of too dry material will affect the content of nutrients available in the finished product. Remember that the purity of the raw material also plays a very important role. Any contamination will promote the development of unfavorable fermentation or mold that is dangerous to animals.
Adequate haylage protection
There are currently two methods of ensiling. The first one is the silo method, but this production carries a lot of risk. The smallest error (e.g. the introduction of a factor causing spoilage) can result in the loss of all stock. On the other hand, haylage produced in bales does not require expensive production technologies, and an additional plus is that in the event of spoilage of the silage, a single bale, not a larger feed reserve is lost. An important factor in this method is haylage film. In this case, it is worth buying a film that has high resistance to puncture, breaking. High stickiness and UV resistance of the film are also important factors.