Feed Supplements

Feed Supplements for Cattle

Feed supplements are most often used to meet market demands, specifications and production requirements. Livestock is fed supplements during drought feeding, normal production or for pasture finishing. Every market has its own requirements, for instance, some markets require animals to be fed on just grain and grass while other markets like organic and natural meat for required pasture finishing. Whenever you think of the market you want to target, you should also see the amount of nutrition required by the cattle. Supplements can help in pasture finishing as it helps optimise pasture utilisation, improve production and help cattle overcome any nutritional deficiencies. The main thing to make sure of is that the cost of the supplements is outweighed by the economic benefit of it by meeting or going beyond market demands.

How to use supplements for cattle in Australia?

There are various ways you can feed supplements to cattle and livestock in Australia including via a rationing process, for example, adding some lime to the grain. You can also give it to the animal in a direct manner via the rumen bolus, injection or drench, for example, selenium. Another way is to let the animal have as much of food as it wants and whenever it wants, for example, roughage or hay. Then you can also provide it in the form of a lick, for instance through urea, molasses and minerals.

  • What supplements help in improving pasture utilisation?

There are many supplements that help correct deficiencies in cattle, this is mainly done to fatten up the animal and ensure that they give the required quantity of produce. Another type of supplement feeding helps in utilising pasture so as to make sure that they have the required energy, roughage or protein in their food so that they can give them the best quality products. For instance, for energy, cattle are generally given grains or molasses, for protein, cattle are fed urea or bentonite and for roughage, cattle are generally fed hay as supplements.

  • What can be done when there is a mineral deficiency?

There are many kinds of mineral supplements that can be given to the livestock in different parts of Australia. The amount that is required will differ from area to area depending on the kind of deficiency that is there. In Australia, the most widespread mineral deficiency is phosphorus. If these cattle are fed phosphorus mineral supplements it can aid in fertility and growth rate, especially during the wet season. Copper, cobalt, sulphur and selenium are other mineral deficiencies in Australia that can be helped with supplements. If not corrected, these can cause production loss and can also weaken the livestock. So, it is essential to ensure proper planning of supplements so as to ascertain which supplements are required, when and in the required quantity.