Quantcast Some Cattle Feed Supplements Reduce Forage Intake and Digestibility

Sponsors







Author Topic: Some Cattle Feed Supplements Reduce Forage Intake and Digestibility  (Read 3965 times)

Offline Farmer John

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma 1
    • View Profile
7/97 BOZEMAN -- Montana stock growers face a strange "Catch 22." Montana range forage can become deficient in protein and energy by mid-summer, leading to a need to feed supplements. However, studies show that some supplements may reduce both forage intake and digestibility.

The effect of the range quality drop in late summer can be significant. In one study in the Northern Great Plains, yearling cattle that had gained three pounds a day from mid-May to mid-July were reduced to an average of two pounds or less per day average weight gain for the whole summer.

Low weight gains after Aug. 1 are not only the result of inadequate nutrients in the forage.

"Studies have shown that grain-based supplements have reduced forage intake and digestibility to such an extent that there was no benefit from supplementation," says John Paterson, Montana State University Extension Service beef specialist.

Supplements can stimulate a change in the microbes in the cattle rumen, says Paterson. The microbes in the rumen that do a good job metabolizing grain-based supplements are not the same microbes that work best digesting fibrous forage. By favoring the microbes that do well with supplementation, those that do the best job on forage may be reduced.

Patersons comments on grain-based supplements referred to a two-year study by Elaine Grings, Bob Short and Ron Heitschmidt of the USDA-ARS at Fort Keogh near Miles City. Their 1986-87 study showed that after about Aug. 1, weight gain by steers on range fell dramatically, with some steers losing weight. Their presentation at Aprils Montana Livestock and Nutrition Conference pointed out that studies in the 1990s did not support studies from the 1980s showing that protein supplementation of yearling steers improved production efficiency.

"With conditions and study results differing this much, cattle producers will need to consider varying their use of supplements and/or changing their grazing strategy to match conditions," says Paterson.

"When ranchers believe they have a potential deficiency, they need to follow a logical approach to determine what is deficient," he adds.

He recommends that they have forage tested for energy, protein and even minerals.

If producers find that their range forage quality after Aug. 1 is deficient in most years, they need to consider different types of supplements and a different grazing strategy, he says.

There are excellent mineral supplements on the market, says Paterson, which probably need to be fed with protein and energy supplements to be effective. Another option might be to change grazing strategy to try to get more beef produced from existing resources.

"One approach might be to use what is called an intensive early stocking strategy," says Paterson. This involves stocking pastures heavily early in the summer when forage quality and quantity are high and then removing the cattle when nutrient supplies begin to limit animal growth.

"Results from Fort Keogh showed that beef production per acre was increased by an average of 24 pounds or 63 percent over season-long grazing," says Paterson. This was so even though weight gain per steer tended to be lower using an intensive stocking system. Because of this contrast, producers will hear differing economic evaluations of intensive early stocking depending on whether the evaluation is based on production per acre or production per steer.

Offline Austin

  • Moderator
  • County Champion Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 857
  • Karma 143
  • In loving memory of Cathy
    • View Profile
    • Steer Planet
Thank you for posting Farmer John. It was an excellent article.
austin

Offline kcr2304

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma 0
    • View Profile
Re: Some Cattle Feed Supplements Reduce Forage Intake and Digestibility
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 08:36:20 AM »
AS in the present days people are not taking healthy food items which are very good for health as they are taking fast food items which don't give any kind of improvement to your health. People must food containing more calcium's and vitamins which could keep your body strong. Unlike most supplements, these products are made from organic foods, not synthetics. Visit the Naturally Nova Scotia website for more information.
_______
kcr
Natural Vitamins

Offline knabe

  • National Champion Poster
  • **********
  • Posts: 12855
  • Karma 352
    • View Profile
Re: Some Cattle Feed Supplements Reduce Forage Intake and Digestibility
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2009, 10:26:57 AM »
AS in the present days people are not taking healthy food items which are very good for health as they are taking fast food items which don't give any kind of improvement to your health. People must food containing more calcium's and vitamins which could keep your body strong. Unlike most supplements, these products are made from organic foods, not synthetics. Visit the Naturally Nova Scotia website for more information.
_______
kcr
Natural Vitamins


nobody has ever proven that a natural made compound was any different better or worse than a synthetic one.  no one has ever proven that nitrogen from the haber process is any different than that produced by other method.

whether food is fast or slow doesn't make any difference either, it's what's in the food and how much of what is the issue.  humans are omnivores, not supplementivores.

human supplements are basically spam.

as for the article,  i am becoming more and more convinced that a bovine digestive system is not designed to have a homogeneous diet throughout the year and the more we try and take out the peaks and valleys, the more  response and associations to inputs is masked and or eliminated from the gene pool.  cows harvest cellulose better than starch.  the maturing window matched to inputs along with providing yearlong supply is probably the biggest untapped source of profit improvement other than marketing and extracting that profit for the producer.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 11:08:50 AM by knabe »

Online GoWyo

  • County Champion Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1662
  • Karma 45
    • View Profile
Re: Some Cattle Feed Supplements Reduce Forage Intake and Digestibility
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 10:48:35 AM »
Late summer grazing always seems to be a funny proposition.  Seems like when there is a big dry hot spell and the grass senesces, the cow body condition goes down and the calves do not gain worth a hoot.  However, most years we get some rains in August that bring on the forbs and weeds and the warm season grasses too, so if you can get cattle through the month or two of hot and dry, they pull a huge amount of protein from the forbs and weeds when they come on.  I have grazed cows on a field full of mostly tumbleweeds in september (the rest of the summer was a droughted out disaster) after we received a huge shot of rain and they actually did very well -- their stool was definitely loose and their entire rear third of their bodies were covered in green, but they did OK.  I had considered putting out protein tubs when the grass dries down, but will have to reconsider that now.
May you always have cows around . . . ~ Corb Lund

Stop the violins -- visualize whirled peas

Offline aj

  • National Champion Poster
  • **********
  • Posts: 6240
  • Karma 175
    • View Profile
Re: Some Cattle Feed Supplements Reduce Forage Intake and Digestibility
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 08:02:15 PM »
Would a crystalix tub work? Wouldn't it feed the bugs in the rumen...or is it grain based? I  know I had a guy tell me that don't feed over say 2 lbs of corn. If you do you screw up the bugs on the fiber side. They told me if you feed over 2 lbs you might as well feed 20 # because of the unbalanced bug distribution. I once overheard a rancher from the Nebraska sandhills say that you can screw up cows just by running them on cornstalks. He said it burns out the gut somehow. However a lot of people do the cornstalk thing. Very intersesting.
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
16 Replies
6519 Views
Last post March 03, 2010, 12:48:45 AM
by Cowboy
2 Replies
4110 Views
Last post March 16, 2010, 09:28:17 PM
by stangs13
29 Replies
6828 Views
Last post March 05, 2012, 08:52:00 PM
by knabe
3 Replies
2442 Views
Last post October 26, 2012, 10:56:25 AM
by sbarmfarm
0 Replies
553 Views
Last post August 25, 2018, 03:22:13 PM
by 4Rcattle

Powered by EzPortal