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If the feed ration is not mixed correctly or if a cow does not eat the calculated feed quantity (lameness, being pushed away at feeding place, lack of appetite) metabolic disorders can be the result. More often claw diseases and lying injuries (e.g. at the hock joint) are the consequence. Several simple characteristics specifically indicate possible feeding and feed intake problems on-site in the cubicle house and for individual animals - in this case it is probably best to seek advice from a veterinarian or a feeding consultant. Here are a few examples (source: Malkow-Nerge/Tischer, 2008):
This evaluation is done standing on the left hind side of the animal.
This can be assessed by counting the number of times several high yield dairy cows chew their cud.
Faeces mirror digestion and indicate whether e.g. the nutrients are well utilized, the water supply is
sufficient, if there is too much or too little fibre or protein intake.
Not the correctly calculated ration is significant, but most importantly the real feed intake. In addition to painful claw diseases, the layout of the feeding table, feed manger management, animal-feeding place ratio, the water supply, as well as the eating behavior and many more factors make a big difference!
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