Beef Production Week 3 Winter Feeding of Beef Cattle

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Level II Agricultural
Business Operations
• To gain an understanding of animal nutritional requirements
•To asses the quality of silage
•To assess the quantity of silage available for winter feeding
•To gain understanding of the different types of concentrate feedstuffs
available
•To assess the quality of various feedstuffs
Animals need a balanced diet containing the
correct amounts of:



Energy: for movement and growth
Protein: for muscles, milk production, and
embryo development
Minerals: for bones and to maintain the
animal’s system
Water
Food
Fibre
Carbohydrate
Dry matter
Protein
Fats
Mineral and vitamins
All foods contain Water ---- the remaining part is called Dry
Matter
Cattle require energy for:
Maintenance
Production
- Growth
- Milk
Energy (ME) is measured in megajoules (MJ)
REQUIREMENT = MAINTENANCE + PRODUCTION
Maintenance
The amount of energy an animal needs
for maintenance depends on their size
A 400 kg store heifer requires
46MJ/day to maintain herself
LWT
200
300
400
500
600
Maintenance
Req. (MJ).
27
36
46
54
62
Liveweight Gain

It takes 32MJ to
produce 1kg of
live-weight gain
Milk Production

It takes 5MJ to
produce 1litre of
milk

A 400 kg store heifer growing at 0.5kg per day
◦ Maintenance requirement
=
46MJ
◦ Growth: 32MJ per 1Kg x 0.5
=
16MJ
_____
62MJ
Total Daily Requirement
=
All feed decisions revolve
around meeting this target
Silage forms the bulk of the livestock diet for six months of the year
through the winter months.
Silage is conserved grass that is made by farmers when the grass
supply is plentiful.
Silage is made by preserving the grass under naturally produced acidic
conditions which effectively pickle the crop.
Silage is quite moist and usually preferred by livestock to hay as it is
more palatable and of higher food value.





Target best silage to most productive stock –
Finishing cattle
Lactating cows
Young growing cattle
Dry cows


To assess feed value, predicted
animal performance and the
need for supplementation.
To identify early the stability of
the silage and possible
impacts on waste and animal
health.
• Wait until six weeks after harvest.
•Take several cores across the clamp.
• Squeeze air out before sealing tightly.
• Send to lab early in the week.
• Provide as much information as possible
e.g. 1st or 2nd cut
ME
Value
Indicates
High
quality
silage
Good quality
silage
Average
quality
silage
Poor
quality
silage
Metabolisable Measure of the energy
energy (ME)
content of the
(MJ/kg DM)
silage.
>12
11.5-11.8
11.5 -10.5
<10.5
Crude protein
(CP) (%)
Measure of the silage
crude protein
content
>13
11-13
10 – 11
<10
Dry matter
(DM) (%)
Measure of the quantity
of material left after
drying
> 30
25 – 30
20 – 25
<20
Value
Indicates
High
quality
silage
Good
quality
silage
Average
quali
ty
silage
Poor
quality
silag
e
Metabolisable
energy
(ME)
(MJ/kg DM)
Measure of the
energy content of
the silage.
>12
11.5-11.8
11.5 10.5
<10.5
Crude protein
(CP) (%)
Measure of the
silage crude
protein content
>13
11-13
10 – 11
<10
Dry matter
(DM) (%)
Measure of the
quantity of
material left after
drying
> 30
25 – 30
20 – 25
<20
Value
Metabolisable
energy
(ME)
(MJ/kg DM)
Indicates
Measure of the
energy content
of the silage.
High
quality
silage
Good
quality
silage
Average
Poor
quality quality
silage
sila
ge
>12
11.5-11.8
11.5 -10.5
<10.5
Crude protein
(CP) (%)
Measure of the silage
crude protein
content
>13
11-13
10 – 11
<10
Dry matter
(DM) (%)
Measure of the
quantity of
material left
after drying
> 30
25 – 30
20 – 25
<20
pH is a measure of the acidity of the silage;
it gives an indication of the fermentation quality
and hence the ability of the silage to store.
Ideally, silages will have a pH 3.8 – 4.2.
Measuring Quantity
Silo/Pit:
Length (m) x Width (m) x Height (m)
=
Volume (m3)
X
Dry Matter Conversion factor
=
Tonnes of silage
Example Calculation silage in pit
4?
Width of pit = 10m
Assume silage is 30% Dry
matter
3m
30m
5m
Section A:
30 x 3 x 10 = 900m3
Plus
10m wide
3m
A
B
Section B:
5 x 3 x 10 = 150m3 X 0.5 = 75 m3
30m
Total = 900 + 75 = 975m3
5m
Conversion Factors
Silage Dry Matter Conversion factor
Tonnes of Silage = Silage Pit Volume
x
Dry Matter Conversion Factor
975 x 0.6 = 585 Tonnes of Silage
Fodder Balance Worksheet
Total
Farm Example:
Silage Stocks
Silage stocks (t)
Pit 1
475
Pit 2
460
Pit 3
430
Pit 4
535
Round bales
13
Total
1913
Silage Requirement
Requirements
Months
Silage
requirement
1.2
6.5
78
70
1.0
6.5
455
350+ kg
65
1.0
6.5
423
250 – 350 kg
70
0.8
6.5
364
200 – 250 kg
30
0.7
6
126
calves
25
0.3
6
45
Type of stock
No
Autumn calver
10
Spring calver
per month (t)
Total silage required
1491tonne
•
•
•
Ration ingredients
Relative Feed Value
Understanding feed labels
Meal


14 % Moisture
(Water)
86 % Dry Matter –
minimum ME 12.5
MJ/kgDM
Silage


75 % Moisture
(Water)
25 % Dry Matter
Meal is up to 4 x more
concentrated energy than
silage

Straights

Blends

Pellets

Coarse Feeds
Blends, Pellets and Coarse
feeds are a combination of
straights, designed for a
specific feed task


Straights are individual feed ingredients.
Can be classified as either:
◦ Energy sources
◦ Protein Sources
◦ Fibre Sources
The combination of straights fed depends on:
- Target animal performance
- Cost (Relative Feed Value)
- The quality of forage material available
Protein
Soya bean meal
Rapeseed meal
Peas & Beans
Linseed
Maize distillers
Energy
Barley
Wheat
Maize gluten
Maize (yellow
meal)
Vegetable/fish oil
Fibre
Oats
Beet pulp
Citrus pulp
Soya hulls
Straw
Feed
Dried barley
Wheat
Maize
Soya hulls
Citrus pulp
Sugar beet pulp
Soyabean meal
Rapeseed meal
Maize distillers
Maize gluten
Protein%
9.5
11
8
10
6
9
46
36
26
18
ME
13.2
13.8
14.7
11.6
12.6
12.5
13.8
12.5
14.0
12.9
Relative value (£)
140
148
159
131
118
133
330
272
227
180
http://eservices.ruralni.gov.uk/onlineservices/Tools/Beef/relativeprog.asp
Blends




A mix of different straights blended together
at the feed mill
Cheapest form of buying meal apart from
buying in the straights and mixing yourself
Possible to buy a specified ration
Potential to be dusty with poorer palatability




Extra cost for pelleting
Reduces dust significantly
Prevents cattle picking out individual
ingredients.
Flows well in hoppers and meal bins.




Most expensive way to make up a ration
Used as away to improve intakes.
Most coarse feeds are based on around 20-30%
flaked maize- can separate out in creep
feeders
Often contains ingredients that are cooked or
steamed to improve digestibility and
palatability

Must declare
◦ Crude Protein,
◦ Oil,
◦ Ash,
◦ Crude fibre

Ingredients are listed in descending order.

No legal requirement to declare ME
Ration Quality
Two 17% CP Store cattle blends - which is best?:
Ration 1
Maize Meal, Wheatfeed, Palm Kernel, Oatfeed, Rapeseed Meal,
Sunflower Ext, Soyabean Meal
Ration 2
Maize Meal, Distillers, Barley, Rapeseed Meal, Soya Hulls
Ration 1: ME 11.4
Ration 2: ME 13.4





Grass, silage, straw, and meal all contain
minerals
Only required in small amounts
Deficiency can cause nutrition disorders
High producing animals most at risk
Oversupply can cause toxicity






Lick Buckets/Feed blocks
Direct inclusion in feed rations
Boluses
Molasses Licks
Pasture Dusting
In-Line Water Dispensers

Assess silage
◦ Quality
◦ Quantity


Know your animals requirements
Select a suitable concentrate
◦ Suitable quality ingredients
◦ Value for money
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