Providing an optimal feed ration for each stage of cattle production takes planning, as forage and grain varies in quality and composition from year to year and from bin to bin. Feed testing is the integral first step to developing a balanced and complete ration. Optimal rations maximize feeding efficiency, which can help cattle producers save money on supplemental feed, but can also help to avoid over or under condition cattle in the breeding herd.
In this episode of the Beef Research School, Dr. John McKinnon, the Beef Industry Research Chair at the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan, outlines the wide-range of pitfalls of under feeding, as well as what to consider when faced with “opportunity feeds.” Dr. Darryl Gibb, a cattle nutritionist, discusses what you can expect to pay for a feed test and how to get a good sample to send in.
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