How To Calculate Your Need For Feed
As a general rule of thumb, figure that your cattle will eat an amount equal to 2.5–3 percent of their body weight in dry feed a day. So a 700 kg cow consumes about 20 kg of feed daily. If the feedstuff has a high water content like wet, lush pasture, the animal needs to eat even more to get the required level of nutrients.
After the initial purchase price, feed is your biggest variable expense in raising cattle. So you need to set aside enough funds to be able to properly feed all of your cattle. You may have feed expenses associated with grain rations and forages like hay or pasture as well as minerals, vitamins, and supplements. The cost can vary greatly depending on your resources, the type of cattle you’re raising, and the weather. Traditionally, allowing cattle to graze is less expensive than feeding hay.
Higher-producing animals like nursing cows or finishing market animals have higher feed expenses. Usually the feed bill for winter cattle feeding is the biggest because the animals are consuming more harvested feeds. But in spring and summer, your direct costs may be limited to the cost of pasture plus minerals and vitamins.
When estimating the need for feed for your herd you have to pay attention to the method of storage of hay and to the feeding method. Ironically, the same farmer who will go to great lengths to avoid a three or four percent loss during grain harvest will regularly incur a 15 to 20 percent hay loss because of improper storage and additionally 15 to 40 percent hay loss because of improper feeding technique.
Round bales, a common method of handling and storing forages, can result in substantial losses if they aren't stored correctly. Too many people think that because round bales are somewhat shaped like a roof, they can be stored outside without a protective covering. Research has shown, however, that improper round bale storage often leads to low quality forage for livestock.
Get in contact with House of Angus to get advise when choosing In-barn, Group covering or Outside, uncovered storage for the best results. You can purchase ecological forage for your herd prepared from natural meadows here too.
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