Simple way to make dairy meal for dairy cows

Simple way to make dairy meal for dairy cows

If you are a  farmer, it's a common fact that a cow's main diet is forage. However since the quality and quantity of forage in Kenya are still low, it's common to find farmers using dairy concentrate commonly referred to as dairy meal. So dairy meal is essential if you have to maximize the potential of your dairy cow.

Currently, in the market, there are more than 50 brands of dairy meal, categorized as standard, low yield, and high yield. The main difference between the three categories is the protein content. protein contributes the highest cost while mixing dairy meal, and that's why the high yield is the most expensive. 

So what's the challenge of buying commercial dairy meal?

In Kenya Cows mainly get their energy needs from hay, grass (grazing or hay) silage (maize, grass, or Napier grass), or fresh Napier grass, or a mixture of the sort. Some farmers add protein-rich fodder like lucerne, potato vines, lupins, etc but this is not a common practice. So the major role of the dairy meal is to bridge the protein ga and thats where the problem. Most farmers argue about the cost component of dairy meal which is true to some extent. My argument for this article is that with the commercial dairy meal, you are not sure about the percentage of protein in the feed. In fact, in most packages, the nutrient content is not indicated and if they do, it will be indicated "approximately 15%" and not the exact figure. That is why with the right knowledge of nutrition, you can mix your dairy meal at home, However, you have to be careful with the ingredients you use because different ingredients are available at different costs. So ensure you choose the highest protein at the lowest cost.

The is no magic in making dairy meal. The principle is getting the best ingredients at the lowest costs and mixing them well. Whether you use a sade or a commercial machine for mixing the concept remains the same. And if you don't know the right proportions, you can call a nutritionist who will use software to give you the ratios for as low as Kes 300. Common software use is called Least Cost Feed Formulation Software which means getting the best formula at the lowest cost. Once you get a formulation, you can use it until the availability or cost of a formulation changes, that's when you will need a new diet.

While the homemade dairy may sometimes expensive, you will be certain of the protein your cow is consuming which translates to more milk that offsets the costs.

Some examples of high-energy feeds available in Kenya.

  • Maize germ
  • Wheat pollard
  • Molasses
  • Maize bran
  • Wheat bran

Some Protein Feeds available in the country

  • Lucerne hay
  • Cotton seed cake
  • Soya bean meal
  • Sunflower seed cake
  • Sesbania leaves
  • Calliandra leaves
  • Fish meal.

Some Minerals in Kenya.

  • Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Limestone
  • Rock phosphate
  • Mineral Premix.

Examples of how you can mix the Dairy Supplements

Note that these examples are for demonstration. Accurate formulations will depend on available ingredients in your area and the cost. The best advice would be to visit a miller get a rice list of what's available  and call a nutritionist to run in software to get you the best combination at the lowest cost. Then you can use the list to decide which ingredient to source.

1: Ordinary supplement

To make 100 kg of the supplement use:

  • 75 kg energy feeds
  • 23 kg protein feed
  • 2 kg minerals.

For example:

  • 57 kg Maize germ
  • 18 kg Wheat pollard
  • 17kg Lucerne hay
  • 6 kg Soya meal
  • 2 kg Dicalcium phosphate.

2: High-yielder dairy supplement

To make 100 kg of the supplement use:

  • 68 kg energy feeds
  • 30 kg protein feed
  • 2 kg minerals.

For example:

  • 50 kg maize germ
  • 16 kg wheat pollard
  • 2 kg molasses
  • 14 kg cotton seed cake
  • 12 kg lucerne hay
  • 4 kg fish meal.



If you need expert advice or more information on making dairy meal at home, and where to source ingredients, send a WhatsApp message to 0707494646