Poor feed bunk management can make it hard for post-weaned heifers to grow well.
Use this checklist provided by Donna Amaral-Phillips, dairy extension professor at the University of Kentucky, to make sure your bunk management is not hindering heifer growth:
• Does the height of the feed bunk allow all heifers to easily reach their feed? “I have seen incidences where mud found around troughs was removed, leaving the feed bunk height higher, and a new set of heifers could not comfortably reach and consume their grain,” Amaral-Phillips says.
• Can all heifers access the feed bunk at once?
• Do heifers have adequate bunk space? “Dairy heifers from two to four months of age need 12 to 18 inches per head of bunk space,” Amaral-Phillips says.
• Do heifers have to walk through mud? “Mud and wet hair coats divert energy away from growth, thus heifers do not grow as well,” Amaral-Phillips says.
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