Winter feeding costs are a major expense in cow-calf herds. So, selecting a winter feeding program that is cost-efficient is imperative. However, making sure nutrient requirements are met during this time is critical to future profitability. An investment now can pay dividends for years to come.
Meeting the most basic nutrient requirements needed for survival should be the goal when feeding cattle following a disaster. Feeding basics, feeding water-damaged hay or feed and salvaging flood-damaged hay and feeds included.
Biosecurity plans control the introduction and spread of disease by evaluating and addressing the primary routes of disease transmission. An effective biosecurity plan will control several diseases at one time. (PDF Format Only)
Basics of forage quality analysis and how such an analysis relates to the nutritional needs of a beef cow and/or replacement heifer. (PDF format only)
Information on purchasing healthy bulls, breeding-soundness examinations, disease prevention and nutrition. (PDF format only)
This page provides information on hay quality, supplements and how to ration hay.
These guidelines include information on semen quality, supplemental feeding for young bulls, deworming and vaccination.
As the beef cattle industry redefines itself to better meet consumer needs and demands, there are new technologies and new products being developed to enhance this effort by improving production, performance and quality in all segments of the industry. One new product, Optalflexx, was approved in 2003 by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in some beef cattle diets.
During the winter, even on the Gulf Coast, beef cattle must have supplemental forage and/or feed. Most cattle producers in the South spend approximately 40% of their operating costs on producing or purchasing hay and purchasing supplemental feeds.
Louisiana forages are often low in quality in late summer. Nutrient intake from forage by a mature cow will usually exceed the requirement for maintenance but may not be high enough to meet the additional requirement for lactation. When nutrient intake is below requirements, the cow must pull nutrients from body reserves to meet her requirements. The result is weight loss and a decrease in body condition.
The objective of this experiment was to compare performance of mature cows and their calves grazing bermudagrass/bahiagrass pastures that had endophyte-infected Georgia 5 tall fescue established in the sod, grazing similar bermudagrass/bahiagrass pastures that were overseeded each year with ryegrass, or grazing bermudagrass/bahiagrass pastures and receiving hay.
Most ration formulation is completed by computers. Numerous software products have been developed to assist nutritionist in matching feedstuffs to nutrient requirements for particular production settings. They can estimate nutrient supply from a diet and reports how well a given diet meets the requirements for the animal specified.