If you don’t eat, you will die a doctor told me. If your cow doesn’t eat she will get sick first. If you don’t want sick cows anymore, than start changing! Small improvements will make a big difference in feed intake. We have relative cheap solutions for high cost problems. A lack of good tasty fresh feed will diminish the resistance of a cow. She will get skinny, she gets wounds and she will get sick.
As a CowSignals® trainer I visited hundreds of well managed farms in 45 countries. We learned a lot from dairy farmers. And we learned even more from cows, because they always tell the truth with their body language. Cows never lie.
Back to the basics:
Feed Water Light Air Space and Rest. If you give enough of those “6 freedoms of the pasture” your cows will be healthy. Time management for cows: 6 - 14 -2 -2
How does a cow uses her 24 hours? Healthy cows eat 10-12 times a day for 30-45 minutes. Total eating time is 6 hours. Cows like to rest for 14 hours of which around 10 hours are spent ruminating.
Not more than 2 hours milking time is wanted. And then there are 2 hours left for social behaviour.
Give the cow the freedom to fill in her own agenda. Cows are very busy! Cows only sleep 20 minutes per day. Do your best to make their lives easy. They deserve it, and they will pay you back in milk.