Beef Cattle Nutrition

Beef Cattle Nutrition
Feeder and Stocker Cattle
Market Beef Lifecycle
Birth 0
14 and older
Age of animal, months
Nutrition guidelines:
 Creep
feed and bring feeder into feedlot
 Palatable diet, not dusty
 Feed long-stem hay and topdress grain for a
few days
 Feed in a bunk to get used to it
 Free-choice
watering system
 Loose free-choice salt
 Increased mineral needs prior to shipping
 Avoid silage or fermented feeds-smell will
drive them off
 Caution with lots of grain: acidosis, bloat,
Stocker Cattle
Weaned calves that are forage-fed for a
period of time before being sold to enter a
 For spring born calves bought in fall:
 Winter
on high-roughage diets in drylot
 Winter graze on wheat/winter oats, or fescue
 Winter on stocks (corn or milo) until gone,
then feed silage with CP (legume/supplement)
in feedlot
Other Feedstuffs
High energy supplementation, but need low starch
 Soy
 Wheat midds
 Brewers grains
 Fed up to 6 lbs/day to 500 lbs calves
Protein supplementation
 Limited
by energy, so CP may not get response
Balance between expected performance and cost
of supplementation (Feed:Gain = 5:1)
Bar F Cattle Company
Stocker cattle and preconditioning
operation in north central Arkansas
 ~1200 head at a time
 ~9000 head move through in a year
 Calves range from 400-650 lbs at start
 Calves from TN, AR, NC, KY, MO, GA, AL
Backgrounded Cattle
Transition Rations
First time calves into feedlot-goal is to
minimize disease and death loss
 Get them eating!
 Medium
quality roughage free-choice
 Plus protein supplement if needed
 After 2-3 days-add grain at rate of .5 lb/100
Market Cattle Requirements
Generally 2-3% of BW for DM intake
 CP-between 9 and 14%
 Feedlot cattle average 12-14%
 TDN-65-85%
 Calcium-0.3-0.6%
 Phosphorus-0.2-0.4%
 Considerably
higher with byproducts
Ca:P ratio of 2 (or greater):1 to avoid
urinary calculi
Backgrounded Cattle
Weaned calves placed in drylot or pasture
with more emphasis on growing than
stocker calves
 Fed grain + roughage
 Target finish is 800+ lb
 Move straight to finishing ration
Growing Cattle
Growing calves in feedlot until switched to
finishing ration
More roughage than concentrate generally
Phase 1 feeding-50-60% concentrate from 450800 lb
 Traditionally
mostly silage diet now stalks, hay
Phase 2 feeding->75% concentrate over 800 lb
(mostly grain diet)
Finishing Cattle
Target is to increase marbling-improve quality
Concentrate:roughage ratio of 85:15 or higher
Faster gains on higher concentrate diet
Increase in TDN by 10% may decrease intake
by 10%
High concentrate diets can lead to problems like
acidosis, founder, and liver abcesses
Feedlots in Iowa
Feed Additives
Feed Additives
Non-nutritive ingredients added to the diet
 Examples commonly used:
 Medications
 Flavorings
 Colorings
 Growth
 Antioxidants (preservatives)
Inhibits growth of some (not all) microbes
 Continuous
inclusion-in diet all the time
 Short-term
inclusion-used to cure/treat a disease
 Examples: Tetracyclines, Tylan, Penicillin
Should antibiotics be utilized in livestock feeds?
 Bacteria
become resistant to antibiotics
 Super bugs, antibiotic treatment becomes useless
Commonly fed to cattle, kill certain rumen
 Beef
cattle (cows and feedlot)
 Changes rumen bug population so can improved
feed use
Considered an antibiotic
Examples: Rumensin, Bovatec
TOXIC to horses!
Commonly used:
 Ralgo,
Active for 60-100 days after insertion into ear
Increased gains
 Steers
Synovex (S,H), Compudose, Revalor
8-12% and heifers 6-10%
Increased efficiency (feed to gain)
 Steers
5-8% and heifers 4-7%
Hormonal Effect Additives
MGA-fed to feedlot heifers, to suppress heat
Acts like progesterone in female cattle
P4 is pregnancy hormone- MGA tricks body
Increases gain because heifers will go off feed
during estrus- riding, etc
Approved for use to synchronize estrous cycle in
breeding females
Feed continuously and then withdraw-->estrous
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