Cattle are fed according to a feeding plan that considers the needs of each phase in production. Silage and wholegrain silage in the winter, and fresh grass during the pasture season, all of which are produced on the farms themselves, form the basis of nourishment for all cattle.
Home-made feeds are analysed to identify the precise nutrient content. This enables sufficient amounts of appropriate protein feeds, micronutrients, minerals and vitamins to be added for the cattle.
In Finland, the primary source of protein for cattle is Finnish rapeseed extract and ground European colza, which are by-products of vegetable oil production. Additionally, Atria’s contract farms use significant amounts of protein feeds derived from barley mash, which is a by-product of Finnish breweries, as well as starch produced in the manufacture of grain ethanol at Altia’s Koskenkorva plant.
Coarse feed is placed on the feeding table in the cow shed several times per day, as the natural eating behaviour of cattle includes continuously grinding and ruminating feed. In recent years, the use of mixed-feed nutrition has become a more widespread means of feeding cattle. This entails grinding up grain, plants containing protein and other required feed components with grass instead of feeding concentrated feed to cattle separately.