Nutrient requirements of beef cattle
A balanced and cost effective nutrition program is essential to the success of any beef cattle operation. Expensive grasslands demand efficient utilization of forages. Supplemental feeding and complete feeding programs must be designed to meet the nutrient needs of beef cattle and, at the same time, make the most of the available feed resources.
The article first touches on the role of dry matter in the growth of cattle and the nutrients needed. The digestive system of the animal actually plays a more important role than the digestibility of the dry matter.
The article then explains the role of proteins in aiding ruminant digestion and the 3 different kinds of protein, include degradable intake protein (DIP), undegradable intake protein (UIP), and metabolizable protein (MP). intake protein is the feed protein fraction that is degraded in the rumen.
Part of the article discusses the amount of protein needed for the fast growing heifers during the gestation period.
The article also discusses the effect of lactation on the loss of proteins in breeding cows and suggests ways to supplement or limit the loss.
The amount of protein needed for the animal itself and the bacteria in the digestive systems in relation to energy levels is also looked at.
The same factor that influence energy requirements also influence protein requirements.
The article touches on energy levels in ruminants expressed in the form of TDN in tables. TDN is the sum of the digestible starch, fibre, protein, and fat in a feed with a correction factor for the high energy content of fat and the amount of ash or mineral content.
Tables on required nutrient levels are included in this article based on the ages and types of cattle.
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Article made possible through the contribution of the Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.