Cattle nutrition


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VTS257: Lg Animal Diseases & Nursing

Published in: Business, Technology

Cattle nutrition

  1. 1. Cattle Nutrition
  2. 2. Ruminant Herbivores• Calf: young animal• Heifer: female calf that hasn’t given birth and is less than 30 months old• Cow: > 30 months or has given birth• Bull: intact male• Steer: castrated male up to 4 yrs old• Ox: castrated male over 4 yrs of age
  3. 3. Dairy Cattle• Main objective: increase dry matter intake to produce higher levels of milk production• Key factors: ration digestibility, rumen fill, body weight (BCS), palatability, environment, frequency of feeding and water
  4. 4. Phase Feeding Program• Phase feeding: changing the nutrient concentration in a series of diets formulated to meet an animals nutrient requirements more precisely at a particular stage of growth or production• Based on lactation and gestation cycle
  5. 5. Phase one• First 10 weeks of lactation• Peak milk production occurs during this phase• Negative energy balance develops so cow uses body stores to make up difference ( can borrow fat, but cannot borrow protein)
  6. 6. What to Feed in Phase 1• Increased grain for energy ( corn, wheat, soybeans)• Protein supplementation to meet AA requirements ( dried brewers grain, distillers grain, corn gluten meal)• Increased concentrates and fats to increase energy density of feed ( soybeans, sunflower seeds)• Sodium bicarbonate “buffer” to reduce acidosis and maintain ruminal ph
  7. 7. Phase 2• Begins 10 weeks post calving and can continue to 20th week• Highest dry matter intake happens here• Nutrient intake is finally in balance with nutrient needs
  8. 8. What to feed in Phase 2• Lower protein levels because requirement is met by supplementation in phase 1• Adequate fiber• Limited grain intake• Frequent feeding ( minimize digestive upset)
  9. 9. Phase 3• “late lactation period”, cow is pregnant again• Nutrient intake exceeds requirements for production• Main period for restoring body reserves for next lactation
  10. 10. What to feed in Phase• Easiest phase to manage because cow is pregnant and milk production is declining• Increased amount of forage instead of concentrates• Lower protein
  11. 11. Phase 4• Most of the “dry” period• Final regaining of any lost body weight happens here• Goal is to get cow in good condition for parturition, but not excessively fat BCS of 3.5 out of 5.0
  12. 12. What to feed in Phase 4• High protein, energy, Ca and P needs• Combination of legume-grass hay and corn silage ( with added vitamins and P)• Long stem grass hay ( length of hay matters)• Limit grain to energy and protein needs
  13. 13. Phase 5• Last 1-3 weeks of “dry” period, just before calving• Referred to as “transition period”• Increase grain intake to prepare rumen for high energy diets that will be needed post partum
  14. 14. What to feed in Phase 5• Gradual increase in grains• Small amounts of all ingredients used in lactation ration• Maybe decrease Ca in “milk fever” prone cows
  15. 15. Body condition scoring• A numeric system to subjectively assess and animal’s degree of fatnessFat Cow Syndrome- High blood lipids and fatty liver from eating excess energy from grain or corn silage- Can lead to calving difficulties, displaced abomassum and ketosis
  16. 16. Beef cattle nutrition• Most critical factor influencing performance of cattle on forage diet is the amount of Dry Matter Intake• Young, growing grass and pasture crops usually have ample nutrients• Old pastures, crop residues and harvesting methods cause reduction in nutrients
  17. 17. Biological Cycle• Goal: optimal nutrition at each stage, not maximum nutrition• Cycle is made up of 4 periods that span 1 year• Cycle includes 3 trimesters and 1 postpartum period
  18. 18. First trimester ( 95 days)• Begins the 1st day of conception• Nutrient needs are for maintenance and lactation if the cow has a calf with her• Milk production is declining at this stage
  19. 19. Second trimester ( 95 days)• Calf is weaned, lactation requirement ends• Lowest nutrient requirements at this point• Feed minimally• Easiest and most economical time to increase a thin cow’s BCS
  20. 20. Third trimester (95 days)• Rapid fetal growth causes rapidly increasing nutrient needs• Watch BCS carefully, cow gains 1 lb per day• Too thin cows experience dystocias, weak calves and decreased milk production
  21. 21. Post partum period ( 80 days)• High lactation requirements• Feed intake is 35-50% higher than non- lactation cow• Nutrition stress at this point causes problems during the cow’s next breeding, ( next breeding is usually 80 days post partum)
  22. 22. Energy requirements for beef cattle• Energy is considered first in balancing diet for beef cattle, it’s the largest portion of the ration• Energy utilization determines cow’s ability to use other nutrients• Good quality forage satisfies adult energy requirements• Poor quality forages need to be supplemented with concentrates
  23. 23. Protein requirements• 50% of all protein and AA needs are met by microbial protein synthesis• Protein deficiency is common when cows consume straw and low quality hay• Urea is commonly used as a protein supplement
  24. 24. Water requirements• Need abundant supply at least once daily• Range cows consume 2 ½ gallons daily in winter and up to 12 gallons per head in summer• When salt is added, water need is increased• Fresh succulent feeds or silage helps reduce need
  25. 25. Mineral requirements• Salt: need more when eating succulent forage• Ca: depends on conc. in soil, higher needs in growing and lactating cows• P: low in roughages, offered free choice in mineral mix• Co: rumen microorganisms need for B12 syn.• Cu: simental and charlois need more• I: def in northwest and great lake soil, use iodized salt
  26. 26. Vitamin requirements• Vitamins CDEK and Bcomplex: no need to supplement, rumen microflora syn B vit, Vit C is synthesized in tissues, sun dried forages contain D and E• Vitamin A: roughage and grains low A, cattle on pasture can store A for 2 months in liver, (slow to show symptoms) deficiency results in rough coat, diarrhea, excessive lacrimation
  27. 27. Grazing systems and management1. Continuous grazing- Most common type of grazing scheme- Cow grazes 1 area for the entire season up to 1 year- Low maintenance, but production often suffers
  28. 28. 2. Deferred rotational grazing- 4 pasture system- 1 pasture would not be grazed from spring to mid-summer in order to allow desirable plants to flower and reach seed maturity- The following year another pasture would not be grazed- After 4 years all pastures would have rested
  29. 29. 3. Rest rotation- Uses 3-5 pastures- 1 pasture is not grazed for an entire year, while herd uses other pastures
  30. 30. 4. Short duration grazing- Developed in France- 8-40 pastures grazed intensively for 2-3 days, then not grazed for several weeks
  31. 31. Nutritional disorders in CattlePasture bloat:- Comes from consuming lush legumes ( alfalfa, red clover)- Relieve bloat by inserting stomach tube into rumen and giving anti-foam material ( ex vegetable oil)- A trocar is used in extreme cases to relieve pressure
  32. 32. Grass Tetany:- Low Mg levels in blood from grazing lush green grass pastures- Common in cows nursing calves under 2 months of age- Symptoms: excitability, cow acts blind- Fix by feeding free choice mineral supplements containing Mg in early grazing season
  33. 33. Nitrite Toxicity:- Caused when intake of nitrite is in excess of the rumen’s ability to convert it to ammonia- Causes hemoglobin in blood to change into a form that cannot transport oxygen- Cow dies from asphyxiation- Treat with injection of IV Methylene Blue
  34. 34. Fescue toxicity:- Caused by grazing or consuming harvested hay from tall fescue pastures- Cow eats endophytic fungus that grows between fescue cells- Signs; soreness in hind limbs, “fescue foot” hooves and tail slough off, hypersalivation and polyuria
  35. 35. Acute Pulmonary Emphysema “ Asthma”- Occurs in western Us when cattle are moved from dry rangelands to lush meadow pastures abruptly- Signs in 4-5 days after diet change- Symp: labored breathing, extended neck, open mouth breathing, grunting- Prevention ( no TX) slowly introduce cattle to new pasture and supplement with monensin