Cows that calve during the working day and evening time are preferable to animals that calve in the early hours of the morning.
They are easier to keep an eye on once they enter labour and, if there is a problem, it is easier to get assistance.
While there is no definite science to the method, many farmers find feeding cows late in the evening can reduce the number of animals calving late at night.
For it to work, start feeding in the evening at least two weeks before calving starts. It is important that cows are in a fasted state before offering fresh silage.
It is also important that every cow can access fresh silage at the same time. If feed space is limited, there is a risk of a cow pitching her calf due to bullying at feeding time.
Once fresh silage is fed to an empty cow, the animal will focus on eating for a couple of hours on and off.
Once full, the cow tends to lie down to chew her cud, delaying the onset of labour until the next morning, although there will be a few cows that still calve at night.
But on most farms where this feeding method is common, more often than not, the majority of cows start calving first thing in the morning.
When feeding silage, just put in enough fodder to last until early afternoon on the next day. Cows will roar for a while when silage runs out, but they will get used to the routine.
Once the feed passage is empty, leave the next silage allocation to that evening. Choose a time that suits your work routine to put in silage. Just be sure to feed animals at the same time each evening.