As we approach September, grass quality begins to deteriorate, due to a drop off in dry matter and sugars.
The best of autumn grass is capable of giving only 0.75 kg of live weight gain per day on finishing cattle, whereas the target is a gain of at least 1 kg per day.
Trials have shown a good response from finishing cattle at grass by supplementing with 2.5-3 kg of meal per day — if excellent quality grass is available at all times.
However, if excellent quality is not available, it will be necessary to feed up to 6 kg/day to heavy heifers or steers that are close to finish.
The volume of meal needed will depend on the breed and sex of the animals being fed.
At this time of the year, finishing cattle off grass quickly has many advantages, in terms of stocking rate, profitability and work load.
Meal type required will need to be high in energy and low in protein, in order to get the final cover of fat on cattle quickly.
If weather or ground conditions deteriorate, you are much better off to house finishers sooner rather than later, to maintain daily weight gains.
This will help to maintain the required performance and also save pastures from unnecessary damage.
In poor weather where insufficient energy is being consumed, cattle can go backwards, from this time of the year.
Forward store cattle that are six to eight weeks off being finished can easily be brought up to 4 kg of meal or more per day outdoors, and then housed and be built up to their final finishing diet in about 10-12 days.
These cattle will have a high weight gain in the short-term before housing, and will find the transition indoors much easier than those on grass alone before going indoors.
With this in mind Southern Milling have formulated high quality finishing rations which are competitively priced and optimize feed conversion efficiency.
Southern Millings beef range:
- High Energy Beef nut to promote maximum live weight gain
- Optimum levels of maize and barley included to achieve excellent confirmation and kill out %.
- Fully fortified with minerals and vitamins to optimize animals health status
- Suitable for ad lib feeding systems with adequate levels of digestible fibre to ensure against digestive upsets.
Please contact your local Southern Milling sales representative with any queries.