Animal Nutrition

Dairy Cows

Superior Provision for Dairy Cattle

Dairy farmers carry a large number of responsibilities. They are to manage their farms successfully, ensure the wellbeing and health of their dairy cows, and engage in sustainable practices. BASF provides an ample range of products and solutions for these diverse challenges.


Silage Preparation and Staple Feed Quality

Staple feed is the basis for feeding dairy cows and determines economic success. Organic acids from BASF help to preserve the nutrients from the field and produce milk more efficiently.

High-quality forage is the most important prerequisite for a high milk yield and efficient milk production. In the worst case, poor forage can lead to illnesses in the animals. Furthermore, expensive straight feeding stuffs, such as wheat, need to be used for energy compensation.

Our organic acids and silage films make an important contribution to preserving basic feed. Our mycotoxin binder is a reliable measure against molds in feed and also contributes to the safety of the feed and to maintaining quality and resources.


Animal Wellbeing and Animal Health

Providing the cows with all nutrients and performance-enhancing additives, as well as optimal housing conditions, increases wellbeing and contributes to the health of the animals.If these important factors are absent, certain metabolic disorders can occur particularly in cows with high yields, for example ketosis. This can develop in newly lactating cows, together with other health problems such as mastitis, metritis, and lameness.

In order to mobilize body tissue quickly in times of energy shortages, cows switch to “inflammation mode”: as an antioxidant, vitamin E can help the cow to cope with this challenge. Products such as our trace elements (glycinates), conjugated linoleic acids (Lutrell) and mycotoxin binders (NovasilTM Plus) support the wellbeing and health of the dairy cows.

Sustainable Milk Production

Better living conditions for the cows, more efficient milk production and environmentally friendly products improve sustainability.

The productive lifetimes of the cows and the replacement rate influence the resource and feed costs per kg of milk produced. The reason: each dairy cow in the herd must first be reared and fed for two years before calving for the first time and producing milk. Therefore, if cows produce milk for longer and achieve as many lactations as possible, this reduces the feed costs per kg of milk produced while improving the efficiency and sustainability of milk production overall. Products from our portfolio contribute to sustainable milk production.


Lifespan and Fertility

Only cows that calve regularly provide milk steadily and for a long time. Fertility is therefore the key criterion for a high lifetime yield, productive lifetime and, ultimately, efficiency. Increasing milk yields are making it harder and harder to get cows in calf: high-yield cows complete fewer than three lactations on average.

However, a longer productive lifetime would lead the rearing phase to become an increasingly small proportion of the productive phase of the dairy cow. This then results in lower resource and feed costs per kg of milk produced, which ultimately contributes to more efficient and sustainable milk production. It is important to eliminate the causes of such fertility problems. If a dairy cow receives better feed, this therefore enables successful and early pregnancy and, thus, short calving intervals. Our product portfolio aims to improve the lifespan and fertility of dairy cows.

Milk Yield and the Start of Lactation

The aim is to produce a high milk yield; however, the start of lactation often poses challenges. Specific measures that can ease the burden on the metabolism stabilize the yield and health of the cows.

The basic prerequisites for high milk yield at the start of lactation are, in addition to healthy udders, a properly functioning liver and healthy hooves. Healthy udders can render invading pathogens harmless without becoming inflamed. Every mammary gland infection impacts negatively on the cow's milk yield.

The transition from the late dry period to the start of lactation involves significant changes in the dairy cow's metabolism. For many cows, the consequences are typical metabolic disorders, which can often trigger a whole range of illnesses, such as ketosis, milk fever, mastitis, lameness, fatty liver disease, retained placenta, metritis, and displaced abomasum. Our products propylene glycol (1,2-Propandiol USP) and conjugated linoleic acids (Lutrell®) support dairy cows by easing the burden on the metabolism.

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