The Total Mixed Ration (T.M.R.) System

Introduction

The R.M.H. Mixer feeder is part of a balanced feeding system or T.M.R. (Total Mixed Ration). By balanced feeding, we mean feeding the animal a feed ration with the correct amount of energy, protein and minerals. By feeding a completely nutritious ration, maximum production can be achieved. The ration is based on feeding silage, hay, grain and other materials. By putting the materials in a R.M.H. Mixer feeder, a highly uniform mix is achieved, thus enabling you to use waste materials of high energy and protein value such as potato waste, cotton seeds and others, some of which would be unpalatable on their own but being mixed they are readily consumed by the animals. R.M.H. mixer feeders are able to mix any feed stuff available (usually without any pre-processing required) such as molasses, brewers grain, cotton seeds and hulls, hay rectangular (small or large) or round bales, silage and fine materials, additives and liquids etc, all mixed to a 98% uniformity. This mixing uniformity is not taken lightly and to prove our statement of 98% we have had our machines tested by the fully independent D.L.G. Laboratory in Germany. They mixed over 2500 tonnes of materials and analysed each load for uniformity etc. Our Mixers passed their stringent tests and now proudly display the D.L.G. logo.



The Basis of T.M.R. System

The first complete feed via feeder-mixer was introduced into the U.S.A., South Africa and Israel in the late 1960's, and today after realising their true economical potential, they have become the most popular feeding system in the world to both dairy and beef farms.

The complete feeding system for dairy cattle is based on feeding cows a ration, balancing the correct amount of energy, protein, fibre, and minerals, in order to produce maximum yields of milk in the most economical way. A typical balanced ration would include some of the following ingredients: silage, hay, grains and by-products from the food industry. These ingredients are weighed and mixed in the R.M.H. mixer feeder and fed to the cow as a complete diet or perhaps a partial diet. Every cow then gets a complete ration in every mouthful which prevents "boss" cows getting the best feed and also stops cows "sorting" the best ingredient first and perhaps leaving the lesser materials, because mixing the feed accurately means the cow doesn't differentiate between the individual ingredients in the ration. Also we have the ability to put products into the ration that the cow would not eat at all but by disguising them in amongst other more palatable ingredients the cows eat them readily. A lot of meals and waste products fall into this category.

The nutritional value of pasture varies tremendously throughout the year, starting from early spring pasture that is soft and watery and has some nutritional deficiencies, later in the year grasses are leached and bleached increasing fibre and decreasing energy, protein and minerals.

A cow would have to consume 17 kg DM pasture in order to satisfy her maintenance needs and milk production, while the quality of the pasture is at its peak. Where as the same cow would have to consume 27 kg DM of low value pasture to achieve the same maintenance and milk production. However a 500 kg cow can only consume a maximum of approximately 17 kg DM, so you can see that when she grazes low value pasture she cannot obtain enough nutritional value to maintain her maintenance needs in milk production. (see figure 1)



By harvesting any crop at its peak nutritional value, preserving it and feeding it to the cow on a regular basis, milk production can be controlled.

Other factors to be taken into consideration in pasture feeding, is a reduction of crop yields in the paddock due to compaction of the soil, trampling an manure fouling, approximately 60% - 70% only is utilised. It is a known fact that when cows have to walk to far paddocks. Their milk output suffers by 0.62 litres for every kilometre walked. So farmers are now growing crops on these far paddocks which are harvested at peak nutritional value and fed back to the cows at later date.

Feeding lactating cows differs from feeding other classes of farm animals. There is a limited time between calving in which to get whatever milk the cow will produce. Milk production reaches a peak 2 to 6 weeks after a cow freshens, then declines during the remaining time of the lactation. If feeding is limited, the peak production will not be reached and the rate of decline is more rapid than normal so production is lowered. However by feeding a supplementary T.M.R. from just before calving right through the lactation, production is increased. Dividing cows into feeding groups has led to changes in the economics of dairy production. The feeding is based on production groups, rather than the needs of the entire herd. By feeding cheaper feeds to lower producing groups, considerable amounts of money can be saved.

Feed, more than any other factor, determines the productivity and profitability of dairying. Within a herd of approximately 25% of the difference of milk production between cows is due to heredity (breeding), the remaining 75% is determined by environmental factors, with feed making up the largest portion. Feed accounts for an average 55% of the cost of milk production. Therefore, a good feeding program is necessary for profitable milk production. It costs more to feed high producing cows, but it pays for the following reasons: Feed overhead and maintenance costs are practically the same, regardless of the level of production. (see figure 2)


Relative proportion of feed used by a 630 kg cow for (1) maintenance (2) maintenance and pregnancy, and (3) milk production, at levels of 3400, 5220, 7040, 8860 kg 4% FCM milk. Note that the percentage of feed used for maintenance decreases as production increases. (based on data from Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle No3, 4th rev. ed., NRC National Academy of Sciences, 1971, p. 28.)


What the complete feeding system requires:
  1. An R.M.H. Mixer feeder suited to your application.
  2. A feed centre where all the feeds, whether bought in or grown on farm are stored correctly in close proximity for ease of loading into the mixer feeder.
  3. A feeding area for the cows to be able to feed on, usually some form of concrete pad etc.
  4. Nutritional advice is required for you to be able to balance your feeding program, we will assist you in this area drawing on experience from Israeli thinking and Australian experience. We believe in keeping the ration simple but effective.
What the complete system offers you:
  1. Increase in milk production by feeding a balanced cow ration and having no feed shortage.
  2. Ability to use cheaper feeds in the ration.
  3. Growing on farm crops harvested at peak nutritional value to feed with other ingredients later.
  4. Buying feeds at harvest time to ensure the lowest price but highest quality.
  5. Better herd health.
  6. Better conception rates.


Disclaimer:
Every attempt has been made to accurately describe and price components. However we reserve the right to alter prices and descriptions without notice as well as reserves the right to make changes in the design, or to add improvements to the products, without incurring an obligation on goods purchased.