It is part science and part art to feed beef cattle. Cattle farmers seem to have their own views regarding safe feed for beef cattle, and new research supporting a particular feed system tends to be created every few years or so.
The most popular and healthiest choices currently include:
1) Substitute FOR GRAIN
Grain can make cattle develop rapidly and enable cattle to get fat. In fact, in order to reduce costs and get cattle ready faster, many farmers feed grains to growing cattle. For winters and for cattle lacking access to high-quality hay and grazing pastures, grain supplements are also a reasonable option.
It is important, however, not to make cattle too dependent on supplements, as this will deter them from pastures and foraging that are more nutritionally diverse.
2) HAY AND HAY
Hay can provide cattle with any vital nutrient, but it has to be selected at the height of its nutrient wealth, that is, before it becomes too dry. Hay must also be properly cured and stored to avoid rot and harm in order to be a good food supply for cattle.
There are many varieties of hay which provide good nutrition. For example, alfalfa hay has more calcium and phosphorus than hay from grass, but some hay from grass may be high in protein. Instead of focusing solely on alfalfa hay, most experts recommend combining alfalfa with grass hay. For dairy cattle, alfalfa hay is often recommended, but may not be a good fit for beef cattle, as it may result in bloat. Another nutritious alternative for cattle is legume hay, as it is rich in protein.
3) FORAGE AND PASTURE
Forage and pasture will provide all the nutrients they need to provide cattle with (unless the soil is depleted or the season is too early for rich grass growth). Pasture is also the cattle feed option that is most cost-effective. In order to ensure that plants are at their maximum nutrient density, it is necessary to test soil fertility and maintain good watering if you hope to feed your livestock with forage and pasture. You will also want to keep an eye on the available plant forms, and monitor their maturity and overall condition.
The nutritional value of concentrates such as oats, maize, wheat, barley, grain sorghum, wheat bran and liquid supplements is high and low in fibre. They have plenty of carbohydrates, but they also have a price tag higher than forages.
Concentrates may be perfect as a supplement, but when providing this feed to avoid digestive problems, carefully consider the needs and weights of cattle.