Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Consistency of feeding out can make or break your weight gains. The rumen takes 3-6 weeks to fully develop to a new feed source, when we feed grain the animal needs to develop a new mixture of microbes to efficiently breakdown and utilize the feed components. If we only feed every few days, or most days and skip the weekends, the pH and populations in the rumen will change and struggle to keep up. For this reason, it’s also important to be aware of the rates we are feeding to avoid critical issues such as acidosis.
The benefits of feeding a starch and protein mix are due to the stimulation of these microbes, that breakdown valuable feed bases such as stubbles to get the full benefits and maintain condition. We have already paid to put that weight on the animal, it is more cost efficient to maintain than it is to put back on later. Keeping an eye on body condition and regular pasture assessments means we can pick the correct date to come in with grains before going backwards.
Three key requirements we look for if we need to supplement feed:
Protein – from protein grains or protected urea sources TPM Dry Feed Mineral Supplement.
Energy – from grains high in starch or good quality hay.
Dry Matter and fill – Physically having enough food from either Pasture/Hay/ Stubbles on offer.
For more information to ensure your targets are met with your summer feeding program, contact your local TRAC Expert
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