Poor Milk Yield

What is Poor Milk Yield?

Poor milk yield is defined as a dairy cow underperforming and not delivering enough quality milk, over a consistent period, for the expected amount of time.

Symptoms of Poor Milk Yield

  • The cow is dry early
  • Low milk solids
  • Low volume

Causes of Poor Milk Yield

  • Insufficient energy in the diet
  • Mineral deficiencies – protein, iron, copper, cobalt or selenium
  • Age, size, and breed of cow
  • Environmental factors such as housing, climate and farm conditions
  • Milking practices and equipment
  • Frequency and timing of milkings
  • Heat Stress
  • Health issues

Problems from Poor Milk Yield

  • Poor milk yield affects the profitability of the dairy herd
  • Poor milk yield indicates poor health, and so can impact fertility
  • Poor milk yield can impact Body Condition Score (BCS)
  • Poor milk yield can increase susceptibility to disease and metabolic disorders such as ketosis
  • Poor Milk Yield – Solutions

    Milk production is dependent on a wide range of variables. To increase milk yield you will need to carefully monitor all these factors for better quality and quantity of milk: 

    Diet – Ensure the cow is provided with an energy- and mineral-rich diet, which is appropriate for her stage of the cycle. 

    Water – Ensure the herd has a steady supply of clean freshwater.

    Housing – Ensure the cow has adequate shelter, that is well ventilated and provides her with enough space. 

    Manage the transition back into the milking herd and ensure the timing is right. 

    Supplement the cow’s diet with minerals such as iron, copper, cobalt or selenium as appropriate.

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