Considering the current rising feed costs, it is not only important to prioritise feeding high-quality home-grown forages, but also to weigh up the options regarding feeding store/finishing cattle.
Silage quality will dictate the feeding rates required to obtain the desired levels of performance, depending on the animal type.
This winter, it may be an option to use a blend of straights on farm to help avoid high concentrate costs. Ideally, all ration mixes would include a source of energy (barley, maize, wheat), protein
(soyabean meal, maize/wheat distillers, maize gluten), and a source of fibre (soya hulls, citrus pulp, sugar beet pulp). Often a simple three-way mix can provide the animal with a balanced supplement feed.
1. Energy – Drives daily live-weight gain.
2. Protein – Assists with growth.
3. Fibre – Aids rumen function.
The percentage of different ingredients in your ration will determine the level of energy and protein. Feedstuffs in Ireland are assigned a net energy value (UFL), whereby one UFL is equal to the energy content of 1 kg of dried barley, and all feed ingredients are expressed relative to this. Thus, the ingredients we choose this winter will dictate the energy of our ration. E.g., palm kernel has only 85% of the energy of barley and wheat feed has only 75%.
For further information on beef finishing options, contact your local Agritech Sales Advisor.