With the recent deterioration in both weather and grazing conditions, beef cattle which are intended for finishing should be housed sooner rather than later in order to settle into a winter finishing system.

If managed incorrectly, the transition from cold wet grass to low pH forage and concentrate feeding, can lead to digestive upsets and lameness within your herd. Therefore, to minimise the dietary stress of transitioning, all stock should be fed 1 to 2 kg of a high fibre ration for 7 to 10 days before housing. A simple blend is 50% rolled barley and 50 % hulls. This blend should also contain a quality rumen buffer such as Rumicare from Agritech in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Once animals are housed, concentrate feeding levels should be built up gradually at a rate of ½ kg per day until the required feeding rate is reached.

Feeding Plan

With beef prices currently under the cost of production, it is vitally important to put an appropriate feeding plan in place. Silage analysis should be the starting point of this feeding plan as this will determine your feeding and management strategy for your stock this winter. High quality silage is an important consideration on any farm, with each increase of 3 DMD units having the potential to reduce concentrate feeding by up to 0.75kgs per head per day. The less feed that is fed to maximise daily live-weight gain will result in greater profitability for the farmer.

Controlling acidosis, both sub clinical and clinical, is critically important. To overcome this issue, Agritech have developed Rumicare, which is a unique blend of phased released rumen buffering minerals with strong alkaline properties, which will counteract rumen acidity right throughout each 24 hour period. This phased release technology ensures a constant and ongoing fight against both sub clinical and clinical acidosis, and the addition of Rumigest® yeast will further enhance rumen bacteria populations and activity, aiding better digestion.

Mineral Requirements

It is critical to ensure your animals are adequately supplemented with the essential minerals and vitamins as poorly balanced diets can significantly reduce performance.

• Calcium and Phosphorous are required to build good bone structure to carry the extra muscle and fat required to meet kill-out specification.
• Copper and Zinc are natural growth enhancers which encourage development of good muscle structure.
• Selenium and Iodine, coupled with vitamins A, D3, E and B complex, are needed to fight against viruses and bacteria; something which animals are more susceptible to at this time of year.

Individual farms will all have variable mineral deficiencies. In response to this, Agritech’s Welmin Mineral Supplements range contains a variety of products which will correct the imbalances that are occurring on individual farms.

On farm support

Agritech provide on farm nutritional advice for farmers as free support to our sales team and distributor network. To enquire about an on farm visit from one of our experts, contact your local Agritech distributor or sales representative.

For further advice or to order from our Welmin Mineral Supplements range, click here.

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