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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some notes on different cattle feeds

These are just some rough comparisons of price per Mega Joule which highlight that although feeding hay maybe simple and easy it is not the best solution. Beef cattle don't need much protein as it deprives them of energy because they use energy to process and excrete. Poor quality hay may fill their rumens but provide little benefit.

Mouldy feed is dangerous to both people and cattle and if it has heated it will drop in feed value dramatically.

The reference sites at the end of this blog provide much more detail on feed requirements and a comparison of options

  • Cow Hay small rectangular bale@ $6.50 = 6.8 cents/MJ
    • Below maintenance, not satisfactory intake
  • Lucerne Hay round bale @ $120 = 4.7 cents/MJ
    • "Just another feed"
  • Wheaten Hay round bale @ $260 = 3.7 cents/MJ
    •  may be too low in protein
  • Silage round bale @ $100 = 5.83 cents/MJ
    • A "lucky dip" for quality
    • Best made and fed on the property
    • If you make it then use it as it deteriorates
    • 4 wraps is standard, if being kept for 12 months + use 6 wraps
    • Carting silage is expensive. The wrapping damages easily and the contents will deteriorate rapidly when this happens
    • Once opened should be consumed within 3-4 days as it will heat up and go mouldy
  • Molasses 2.7cents/MJ
    • Maintenance feed, best through Winter
    • There must be dry feed with it
    • Various formulae exist using it with water and Urea where it is a taste carrier for the Urea
    • Slows down weight loss in lactating cows and maintains dry cows
    • Urea must be used with caution excessive use will bring down a cow
    • Blackstrap molasses better than Mill Run
  • Dry Distillers Grain 2.7 cents/MJ
    • May contain antibiotics
    • Must be served with roughage
    • High Sulphur, no more than 2.7KG/cow
    • Darkens meat colour
  • Rolled Barley 2.8 cents/MJ
  • Cottonseed has become expensive and in short supply
  • Various other premixes exist of mixed grains or pellets. The formulations are good but expensive

More detailed information at Feeding Cattle DPI Victoria and DPI NSW

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