Feed Manager Patrick Kilama at GUCD has been with the farm since its inception in 2012, helping with bush clearing. Today he is the feed manager.
He said there are different feeding protocols for each age group starting with the new born calves. For example, the new born calves get colostrum very soon after birth followed by milk. At the age of 3 weeks, the calf feeder can introduce the calve to concentrates such as sunflower cake, maize bran, and water. From 2 to 5 months a person can start to introduce hay and dry grass to develop the rumen and after that they get silage which the cows will eat for the rest of their lives. The silage ration is mixed with other concentrates to help cows reach their full potential.
Patrick said the feed has to have a pleasant smell, otherwise the cows might not eat it.
With the feed, the cows also need plenty of water to help with digestion and increase milk production. Cows like a consistency in feed, and consistency in the timing of it.
Part of Patrick’s role as feed manager is also ear tagging, dehorning and animal health treatments.
GUCD offers various training modules where future and existing farmers can gain additional knowledge about dairy farming. The one and two day courses focus on making the farm more successful, while the one week course is designed to teach everything from making cow rations, to concepts of barn construction.