Presentation on theme: "Practical feeding of finishing cattle"— Presentation transcript:
1 Practical feeding of finishing cattle Dr. Mary Drewnoski
2 Feedlot nutritionWhen cattle reach the feedlot need to achieve the most rapid gain possibleHigh capital investment – time is money so must maximize gainADG 3 to 4 lb/dF:G 6 to 7High grain finishing diets typically result in the best performance and lowest cost of gain.
3 Feedlot nutrition Energy is usually what limits gain in finishing diet Want to maximize energy and not get digestive problemsEnergy management is typically where problems occurAcidosis, liver abscesses and bloatIonophores pay big time
4 Transitioning cattleRation transition should not start until feeder cattle are settled in the feedlot and intakes have stabilizedStart with 0.5 to 1% BW grain and work up to finishing ration slowly (usually take 3-6 weeks)Making ration changes while intakes are rapidly increasing, or moving cattle onto finishing diets too quick can result in acidosis that can reduce animal performance.
5 Finishing rationForage quality is not an issue; very little fiber digestion on finishing diets5-9% eNDF (stimulate rumination)Grain processing has a large impact on the economics of finishing cattle.Monitor it regularly.Keep fines to a minimumKeep whole kernels to a minimum
6 Acidosis can be a problem High energy feedsGrainMaximum fed, % of DMConsiderationCorn grain92MiloWheat50Acidosis can be a problemBarley90Bloat can be a problemGround ear corn95(If no forage fed)High fiberRate of ruminal fermentation (if dry rolled)(Highest) Wheat, barley, corn, sorghum (lowest)
7 High energy feeds Fat supplements (Tallow, Vegetable-Animal Fat) Increase energy concentrationReduce dustinessLimit to 5% of DMMolasses
8 High energy feeds Potato coproducts A more slowly degradable source of starch than cornLower in β-carotene, a source of vitamin AWater content often limits useCan range from 10 to 30% DMThe coproducts except the fried products, ensile rapidly
9 High energy feeds1) potato peels 2) Screen solids (small potatoes and pieces); 3) fried product (fries, hash browns, batter, crumbles) 4)material from the water recovery systems (oxidation ditch, belt solids, filter cake)
12 Variation is the enemy Strive for consistency in feed delivery. This means exact ration formulas mixed for the proper length of time.Enter ingredients in the same sequence each load.Use a stop watch or a rotation counter to ensure loads are consistently mixed.Be consistent with time of feedingYou don’t want to cause “unsureness” in the cattle mind
13 Variation is the enemyMinimize crashes in intakes, reduce waste, and achieve and maintain maximum intakes by following a disciplined protocol of feed increases.Prescribed feeding (slick bunk management)Feed to match cattle appetites
14 Bunk score 0 Want them to have cleaned up within the hour Is it still wet?Slow and steady wins the raceIf score is zero for 2 or 3 days then increase the feed delivered to cattle by percent
15 Bunk score 2If the score is two or more, reduce the feed offered by percent.Scores constantly in the 2 to 3 range may lead to feed wastageClean up spoiled feed
16 Making feed callsUse the bunk scores but also have feed truck drivers record aggression scoresWant 25:50:2525% in pen at bunk ready to eat50% coming to the bunk (simulated by the truck)25% milling around not ready to eatIf more at bunk need to feed moreIf more milling around need to feed less
17 Market at the right time Efficiencies decline and costs increase as cattle get heavier.It is estimated that profitability per head decreases $1 for each day cattle are fed past the finish point.