Paradox Nutrition, LLC conducts studies on commercial dairy farms for feed ingredient suppliers. All research conducted by Paradox Nutrition, LLC is confidential although a company may choose to publish the results.
Good, reliable data can be obtained from controlled side-by-side trials on commercial farms. Farm owners are paid for use of their cows and for any extra work that is involved for a study. In general, research conducted by Paradox Nutrition, LLC is less costly than that conducted at a University or research farm and results are received in a more timely manner. Paradox Nutrition, LLC only conducts research with high-producing herds, making results more “real life” and applicable to other commercial feeding situations.
In the past, feed ingredients often were tested with “field trials” on commercial dairies. Products were given to a farm at no cost, fed to all cows, and then the whole herd effects were studied using monthly DHI testing. A lot of time, effort, and money was spent on these “field trials”. Unfortunately, little reliable information was gained because many factors affect the production of any herd over time. For instance, weather, forages fed, and days in milk all change from month to month.
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Lactating Cow Studies
Paradox Nutrition, LLC cooperates with several large, progressive dairies in New York and Vermont to conduct feeding trials with pens of 60 to 220 cows. Cows are housed in freestall barns with ad libitum access to TMR and water. Control and treatment groups are housed in separate pens. Cows are milked three times per day and typically fed a TMR once per day with TMR pushed up regularly.
Prior to beginning a study, cow groups are balanced based on lactation number, DIM, and milk production. Daily pen dry matter intakes are monitored and recorded. Daily milk production of individual cows is recorded automatically. Milk composition of individual cows is assessed as needed.
Data from cows on study is analyzed using JMP statistical software (SAS, Cary, NC) to determine if milk production and milk component production were affected by treatment. The model fit typically uses DIM (by category), lactation number (by category) and pen (treatment vs. control) as independent factors. Previous ME305 milk (kg), pre-trial milk (kg), pre-trial 3.5% FCM (kg), pre-trial milk fat (% or kg), pre-trial true protein (% or kg), and pre-trial SCC may also be included as covariates in the analysis of the data.
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Calf and Heifer Growth Studies
Paradox Nutrition, LLC cooperates with calf and heifer raisers to conduct growth studies. Typical measurements include assessment of colostrum quality, immunoglobulin status, calf mortality, incidence of disease, treatment rates, and growth rates.