Relative value of feeds for livestock
With the current adverse weather, livestock producers are concerned about the availability and price of feed.
Many questions relate to determining the relative value of alternative feedstuffs that could serve as a substitute to corn, soybean meal, alfalfa or other forages.
The article contains factors to use to evaluate various feedstuffs and estimate their feeding value for dairy and beef cattle. The nutrient values that the constants are based on are included.
The dairy factors are based on shelled corn as the standard energy source; 44 percent soybean meal as the standard protein source; and in the case of forage, using mid-bloom alfalfa as the standard fiber source.
The relative value of a feedstuff is calculated by first multiplying each of the factors times the current price of the respective standard feed, then summing the results.
The procedure to estimate the relative value of grains and other by-product feeds is similar, the difference is that only energy and protein are considered.
This approach works well to estimate the feeding value of most feedstuffs. However, some oilseeds (cottonseed, soybeans, etc) may have a higher energy value than the factors give credit for due to the oil content.
A comprehensive table listing the protein and energy values of the various feeds is provided for the various feeds.
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