Cow farming around the world is not always easy and especially in Siberia it is a challenge. Our animal nutrition specialist Ben was requested to correct the rations on two Siberian dairy farms near Irkutsk. He tells: “these days, the outside temperature lies regularly around -30°C ( -22°F).”
Siberia is known for its long harsh winters. Throughout the winter temperatures drop well below freezing, which makes it one of the coldest places in Russia and even in the world. Ben continues: “however, the locals (people and cattle) are well adapted to the climate and at least the humidity is low. Calves from 6 months upwards are always outside with only a partial shelter and straw. The calves still obtain a high weight gain due to good feeding. However the best secret was that they receive regularly water of > 40°C so in fact they are sipping hot tea all day!”
Another finding was the construction of a new department on one of the farms. For this new department several ideas from both worlds were collected; east and west. This combined concept works great in the local climate. In this tie-stall barn production is more than 8000 kg, with only moderate quality roughage. Due to the short growing season, getting a lot of starch in the corn silage is not always possible.
Anyway, production is still on the lift because they are relying now on Semex semen for their genetic progress!