Productivity and efficiency of dairy animals goes down drastically during summer. Feed and care are the two key factors which need to be managed for increasing production efficiency.
During summer the availability of green fodder and oilcakes is limited whereas dry fodder may be available in abundance in some regions but may be poor in quality (nutrition value) and digestibility.
Feeding economical and providing balanced ration to milch animals is required for profitability, production of milk and a more effective reproductive cycle.
Feeding of fodders and concentrate should be in the ratio of 70:30 of total feed. It is advisable to feed additional food in form of cereals and oil cakes.
In summer conditions additional 35 per cent protein rich concentrate mixture is suggested to be fed and clean and cool water to be provided 5-6 times in a day. Feed wheat bhoosa (common in North India) preferably during midnight or any cool hours of the day.
The seasonal feeding and management will help in increasing the reproductive and productive condition of animal body against seasonal stress and in inclement weather also. Further it will ensure in reducing age at first calving and calving interval and increasing lifetime milk production.
Do not change the feeding, watering and management plan abruptly. Only quality feeds preferably ISO certified, should be fed. Animals should be provided with suitable housing to protect against hot winds.
Cattle grooming and washing particularly buffaloes, with cold water during summer are advisable. A mild detergent may be used in washing.
Grooming and washing should be done at least two hours before milking, followed by wiping of udder with clean duster soaked in mild/ diluted antiseptic solution.
Washing of milking place with phenol at least two hours before milking is advisable. Spray baygon/ flit etc. to repel flies and mosquitoes. (Dr. Rajinder Singh is Senior Extension Specialist, Animal Sciences, Rohtak, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences,Hisar, email: email@example.com and Shrishti, student, Finance, BITS - Pilani Rajasthan)