Total Mixed Ration (TMR )

  • Total Mix Ration (TMR) is an efficient system of delivering nutrients to dairy cattle and buffaloes. Feeding “complete rations” or TMR has been prevalent since the 1950s in developed countries. In conventional TMR, chopped green fodder or silage are blended with cereals, cereal by-products, protein sources, minerals, vitamins and feed additives in order to provide balanced ration to the dairy animals. However, in smallholder dairy production system that is predominant in India, a crop residue based TMR (also referred to as ‘dry TMR’) is more apt. It can be transported easily and stored for at least 2-3 weeks unlike the conventional TMR.

The dry TMR has the following advantages:

  • It enables better feed intake, reduces feed wastage, maintains stable rumen environment and improves digestibility.
  • It can be customised to the lactation stage of the animals and therefore contributes to higher productivity.
  • The roughage portion of this TMR primarily comprises of crop residues such as wheat straw, paddy straw, dry sugarcane tops, etc., which are available in abundance locally. Incorporation of these crop residues prevents their being burnt in the fields, thus mitigating the adverse effect on the environment.
  • The TMR thus manufactured is economical than the conventional cattle feed of similar nutrient composition.