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Cattle Nutrition

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VTS150--Alden

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Cattle Nutrition

  1. 1. Cattle NutritionRuminant HerbivoresCalf- young animalHeifer- female calf that has not given birth and is less than 30 months oldCow- older than 30 months old, or has given birthBull- intact maleSteer- castrated male up to 4 years oldOx- castrated male, more than 4 years old
  2. 2. Dairy CattleMain objective- increase dry matter intake to produce higher levels of milk productionKey factors: energy, ration digestibility, rumen fill, palatability, body weight( BCS), environment, frequency of feeding and water
  3. 3. Phase feeding programPhase feeding- Changing the nutrient concentration in a series of diets formulated to meet an animal’s nutrient requirements more precisely at a particular stage of growth or production- Based on lactation and gestation cycle
  4. 4. Phase 1 First 10 weeks of lactation Peak milk production happens in this phase Negative energy balance develops, so cow uses body stores to make up difference ( can borrow fat, but cannot borrow protein)
  5. 5. What to feed in Phase 1 Increased grain for energy ( corn, wheat, soybeans) Protein supplementation to meet amino acid 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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 ( minimizes digestive upset)
  8. 8. Phase 3 “late lactation period”, cow is pregnant again Nutrient intake exceeds requirement for production Main period for restoring body reserves for next lactation
  9. 9. What to feed in Phase 2 Easiest phase to manage because cow is pregnant and milk production is declining Increased amount of forage instead of concentrates Lower protein
  10. 10. 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.O scale)
  11. 11. 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 P0 Long stem grass hay ( length of hay matters) Limit grain to energy and protein needs
  12. 12. Body Condition ScoringA 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
  13. 13. Phase 5 Last 1-3 weeks of “dry” period, just before calving Referred to as a “transition period” Increase grain intake to prepare rumen for high energy diets that will be needed postpartum
  14. 14. What to feed in Phase 5 Gradual increase in grains Small amounts of all ingredients used in the lactation ration Maybe decrease Ca in “ milk fever” prone cows
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. Biological CycleGoal: optimal nutrition at each stage, not maximum nutritionCycle is made up of 4 periods that span 1 year: 3 trimesters and 1 postpartum period
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. Second Trimester ( 95 days) Calf is weaned, lactation requirements end Lowest nutrient requirements at this point Feed minimally Easiest and most economical time to increase a thin cows BCS
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. Postpartum Period ( 80 days) High lactation requirements Feed intake is 35-50% higher than non-lactating cow Nutritional stress at this point causes problems during the cow’s next breeding ( usually 80 days post partum)
  21. 21. Energy Requirement 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
  22. 22. Protein Requirements 50% of all protein and amino acid 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
  23. 23. Beef Cattle, Waterrequirements Need abundant supply at 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 help reduce need
  24. 24. Beef Cattle mineralrequirements Salt- need more when eating succulent forages than when eating drier forage Calcium- depends of Ca concentration in soil, higher needs in growing and lactating cows Phosphorus- Low P levels in roughage, so P is often offered free choice in a mineral mix Cobalt- required for rumen microorganisms to synthesize vitamin B 12
  25. 25. Minerals continued Copper- Simental and Charlois have a higher requirement than Angus Iodine- deficiencies in Northwest and Great Lakes area soil; supply via iodized salt
  26. 26. Beef Cattle VitaminRequirements C, D, E, K and B complex- no need for supplementation; ruminal microflora synthesizes B complex and K, Vitamin C is synthesized in tissues, Sun dried forages contain lots of Vit D and E A- roughage and grains are low in Vit A, causing a deficiency. Cattle on pasture can store large amounts of Vit A for 2 months in liver, so deficiency isn’t immediately apparent. Look for signs of rough coat, diarrhea, excessive lacrimation
  27. 27. Grazing Systems andManagement1. Continuous Grazing- Most common type of grazing scheme- Cow grazes 1 area for the entire season up to 1 year- Low maintenance, but production suffers
  28. 28. Grazing systems continued2. 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 four pastures will have had time to rest
  29. 29. Grazing systems continued3. Rest rotation- Uses 3-5 pastures- 1 pasture is not grazed for an entire year, while herd uses other pastures
  30. 30. Grazing Systems continued4. Short duration grazing- Developed in France- 8-40 pastures grazed intensively for 2- 3 days, then not grazed again for several weeks
  31. 31. Nutritional Disorders1. Pasture 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 release pressure ( large “needle” puncture through skin and gas rushes out)
  32. 32. Nutritional disorderscontinuedGrass tetany- Low Mg levels in blood from grazing lush green grass pastures- Common in cows nursing calves under 2 months- Symptoms: excitability, cows act blind- Fix by feeding free choice mineral supplement containing Mg, early in 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 which cannot transport oxygen to the tissues- 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 the endophytic fungus that grows between the 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 seen in 4-5 days after diet change- Symptoms: labored breathing, extended neck, open mouth breathing, grunting- Prevention: ( no treatment) slowly introduce cattle to new pasture and supplement with monensin

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