Improve Feed Conversion Efficiency

UK - Knowing your feed conversion efficiency (FCE) can lead to maximum feed efficiency, nutritionally and financially.
calendar icon 13 January 2010
clock icon 1 minute read

Keeping track of dry matter intake is essential for calculating the FCE figure, according to DairyCo.

Calculating the FCE is as simple as dividing daily milk yield by daily dry matter intake. The result shows how well the animal is utilising one kilo of feed, so that farmers can see where improvements can be made. Data from Keenan illustrates that as feed efficiency increases, costs per litre decrease.

Figure 1: Feed Conversion Efficiency and Feed Cost

Adam Clay, DairyCo extension officer says: “I believe many farmers can benefit from calculating feed efficiency. Taking one figure here or there may not be of much use, however regularly monitoring feed efficiency throughout lactation can show important trends and quickly flag up any problems before they result in serious underfeeding or poor feed use.

“Improvements can be made anywhere from providing more feeding space, or by providing a better formulated diet, improving digestibility,” he concludes.

Farmers can learn more about feeding efficiency by requesting the feeding+ manual from DairyCo publications on 024 7647 8695.

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