Maximize the DMI

8 August 2014


Dry Matter Intake (or DMI) is the weight of feed material consumed excluding the moisture it contains.

Inadequate DMI or feeding low quality feed will reduce the intake of energy and other nutrients, which can impact on body condition, herd health, fertility, and cow performance now and in the next lactation.

A number of different animal, feed and management factors affect DMI. Feed factors include:

  • Fibre content - Cows eat less when fibre levels are too high.
  • Protein content - Adequate protein in the diet improves digestibility and therefore intake.
  • Processing - improves digestibility of feed and therefore allows cows to eat more.
  • Moisture content - adequate water intake promotes increased feed intake because adequate water intake helps with digestibility and metabolism of nutrients.
  • Diet composition - Cows eat less when rations are poorly balanced.
  • Digestibility - Abrupt or inconsistent changes to diet upset cow’s gut and may lead to metabolic problems which may reduce feed intake and performance.
  • Ration changes - Cows eat less when rations are changed abruptly.

Animal factors include:

  • Size
  • Breed
  • Age
  • Milk yield
  • Cow condition
  • Stage of lactation

Management factors include:

  • Feed access
  • Water access
  • Feeding frequency
  • Ration palatability
  • Feed spoilage

The more feed a cow consumes, the more nutrients she receives, and thus, more nutrients are available for milk production.

For more information on increasing the DMI of your cows and maximizing the herds’ production potential, speak to your CopRice nutritionist today Freecall 1800 267 742.


feeding strip