BROOD COW SUPPLEMENT
Extra profit from the breeding herd can be achieved by feeding one or
two pounds per day of cottonseed cake or meal. Mature warm season grasses
in late summer, and dormant grasses, conserved forages, and crop residue
in the winter are often lower in protein than is necessary for high
reproductive performance and milk yield. The extra protein from cottonseed
cake or meal supplements can increase intake and digestibility of low
quality forages, keeping brood cows in good body condition for producing
healthier, heavier calves.
CALF CREEP FEED
Feeding up to one pound of cottonseed meal per day to spring born
foraging beef calves, from midsummer to fall, has been shown to profitably
increase weaning weights. If cow milk yield is low and/or pasture quality
is poor, a calf will not be able to reach its genetic capability. Grain
based supplements, requiring several pounds of feed per pound of
additional gain, are often too expensive and can suppress forage intake
and digestibility. However, a 38% or higher protein supplement
based on cottonseed meal and fed in a self limited creep (10-15% salt) can
make those calves get more economical gains from summer grasses.
Just a couple of pounds of cottonseed cake or meal per day can result
in heavier stockers at marketing time. Young, growing cattle require a
high level of protein for good gains on grass. Mature summer forages and
even lush cool season pastures can at times lack the quantity or quality
of protein required to build muscle and frame in rapidly growing calves.
Supplementation with 41% cottonseed cake or meal to make up that
deficiency can enhance the economical gains made by stockers.
REPLACEMENT OR FEEDLOT RATION
Whether feeding replacements for breeding or feedlot cattle for
slaughter, cottonseed meal and hulls are important ration components.
Cottonseed meal fits well into these diets as an economical source of
palatable, natural protein. Cottonseed meal protein provides for muscle
and bone growth desired in replacements without the problem of
Cottonseed hulls are an excellent source of palatable, high quality
fiber requiring no further processing. When starting calves on feed,
cottonseed hulls and meal insure adequate intake and rumen function during
this critical period and throughout the feeding cycle.
A Systematic Approach To Supplementation
Supplemental feeding throughout the beef production cycle is simply
furnishing those nutrients which are not provided by forage or feasibly
obtained from nutrients stored in the animal's body. Supplementing cows
and calves, as needed, with minerals first, then vitamins, then protein,
then energy offers the opportunity for the highest return per dollar
invested in supplements.
Follow these four steps:
1. Minerals- If minerals are not
included in a supplement already being fed, offer free choice minerals to
meet the cattle's needs.
If cattle are on dry or dormant pasture for more than 4 to 6
months, feed or inject vitamin A.
Feed small amounts of protein to cows if forage protein falls below 6 to
8%. Be aware of growing calves' high protein requirement and supplement if
forage protein does not supply their complete needs.
Use grain, hay and other energy feeds when forage is inadequate or when
low condition scores warrant it. Remember that energy supplementation
requires more pounds of feed per pound of extra gain and can possibly
decrease forage intake and digestibility.