Nutritional strategies for small herds


  • David T. Galligan New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • James Ferguson New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania



Effective herd health programs are traditionally based on strategies to control disease prevalence so that farm profit is maximized. In the past veterinary services focused on improving production efficiency primarily through reproductive consultation and mastitis control programs. Veterinary nutritional consulting has only recently become an integral component of herd health programs and it is gradually becoming recognized that sound management advice in this area may have a greater impact on economic efficiency than other traditional services. A survey of ration evaluation revealed a mean potential 14% feed cost saving through ration reformulation.

Nutrition is an important economic input component for the dairy herd, large or small. Feed can range from 40-60% of the value of milk production depending on herd size and on efficiency of production. Small herds, which do not enjoy the economies of scale effects on feed prices realized by large herds will tend to have higher feed cost/lb of product produced. Inefficient feeding programs will have a higher proportional effect on small farm profitability.




How to Cite

Galligan, D. T., & Ferguson, J. (1994). Nutritional strategies for small herds. The Bovine Practitioner, 1994(28), 21–23.




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