How to increase the protein percentage of milk in a dairy herd?

The percentage of protein in milk is directly related to the energy supply to the udder. In other words, by managing the negative energy balance that occurs after calving, the protein percentage in the milk of dairy cows can be optimised.

How to increase the fat percentage of milk in a dairy herd?

The percentage of fat in milk is mostly related to the quality of rumen fermentation and to hindgut health. There are several ways to increase fat percentage in milk, related to animal factors, feeding management, diet and dietary interventions that can reach the hindgut of dairy cows.

Animal factors

  • Breed, lactational stage and season all have an effect
  • Manage the transition to lactation in such a way that the incidence of metabolic diseases is low
  • Introduce fresh cows into the lactating group in batches once every 2 weeks
  • Consider a separate heifer group

Feeding management

  • Increase the number of meals per day
  • Ideally, provide fresh feed twice daily
  • Push up the feed regularly
  • Avoiding sorting
  • Ensure sufficient space at the feeding fence and ensure it offers cows comfort while eating

Feed a correct ration

  • Provide enough effective fibre
  • Ensure the dry matter percentage of the ratio is not too low
  • Don’t feed too much rumen active fat, use rumen-protected fats
  • Don’t feed too much-unsaturated fats
  • Avoid sub-acute rumen acidosis, so don’t feed too much fast fermenting carbohydrates
  • Sulfate forms of trace minerals can have a negative impact on fibre digestibility because sulfates are toxic to bacteria. Use trace minerals that contain the hydroxy trace minerals form of zinc and copper instead of sulfates


  • Yeast or yeast-derived products can stabilize the rumen pH of dairy cows and thus improve fermentation
  • If there are large amounts of fast fermentable carbohydrates in the diet, add a buffer such as sodium carbonate
  • Hindgut acidosis can cause a “leaky gut“, which can cause a drop in milk fat production. Use hydroxy forms of trace minerals and rumen-protected prebiotics and to improve hindgut health and to increase the production of milk fat
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