Without knowing what protein is in their hay/feed, asking which level to feed is not a great question. Different breeds of cattle require different levels of protein, as does the stage of lactation. Growing heifers also are higher in requirements. An average beef cow in gestation is supposed to need 9%, up to 12% at lactation but they can have problems at that level. Simmies need 12% gestation, 14% lactation for growth and lactation in my experience--which we were able to achieve with good hay. Perhaps post what you're feeding and your questions will make more sense. Also, whether to use the block or lick tank depends a lot on price and facilities.
> Without knowing what protein is in
> their hay/feed, asking which level
> to feed is not a great question.
> Different breeds of cattle require
> different levels of protein, as
> does the stage of lactation.
> Growing heifers also are higher in
> requirements. An average beef cow
> in gestation is supposed to need
> 9%, up to 12% at lactation but
> they can have problems at that
> level. Simmies need 12% gestation,
> 14% lactation for growth and
> lactation in my experience--which
> we were able to achieve with good
> hay. Perhaps post what you're
> feeding and your questions will
> make more sense. Also, whether to
> use the block or lick tank depends
> a lot on price and facilities.
i am feeding herefordxsimmental mixed cows with calves and one brangus cross yearling heifer, i am feeding grass hay with a little clover in it.i also feed some 20 % range cubes and now that my cows have all calved some 12% grain.they were grazing on fescue pature before winter started. i live in the south. are the tubs too high in protien? is that too much? then why are they so popular? There are so many of them out there to choose from. i know some who use the liquid tanks and swear by them as being better. just wondering?
I have fed the Crystallix 250# tubs as the only supplement for years. I feed them in conjunction with a mix of grass and alfalfa round bales. I have had the best luck with the 30% tubs. Cows calve with little difficulty and maintain good condition. I then switch to a high Mg tub when I move them to grass.
What is the average protein for your hay/grass that you feed? Clover generally runs somewhere in the mid to high teens and will bring up your protein percentage. What is the cows average body condition?--if they're fat, don't keep increasing protein! Hereford/simms would likely require the average protein requirement, ie post above, the brangus--who knows? There are none up here, I've never examined one nor do I know if they have special requirements.
When I had fullblood Simmentals (they were about 1600lbs average weight) we fed a good grass hay (tested annually) and left in a crystalyx tub (not 30% protein, it was either 12 or 14%, depending on test) We definitely had High Mag tubs in the spring, because magnesium deficiency definitely occurs here. The cows were grained for a month at most post calving, the calves never received grain but had those crystalyx tubs in the pasture with them.
Now I'm going to show my bias against urea containing feeds. I find that if you're giving urea as part of the protein source, keep it very low or else I see all sorts of problems occurring--some obviously related, others possibly coincidental. But all are still a concern. Many texts say that you can use 10 percent (I've seen varying numbers) safely....I generally go for 1/2 of the lowest recommended or less--preferably zero in my herd, but less problems are seen with the lower numbers. If I've muddied things, just ask for clarification! V
Average protein of the grass hay is around 10%, alfalfa(first cutting - usually fairly coarse) around 12%. My cows come into the feeding season with a condition score of 1.5 - 2. They have hay free choice and the tubs. They hold that condition. Calves usually come in late Mar/April to meet the grass here. I started being real suspicious of NPN but after using it for the past 8 or 9 years, I don't worry much about it now - especially when there is plenty of fair to good forage.
I feed Liquid feed from several small tanks when needed. What I mean by that is that when I have a great deal of dry forrage, and don't want to mess with hay or supplements such as cubes or tubs, they will consume poor quality forage or Dry Hay when it is available or cheap and maintain protein requirements, Obviously good quality grass is better for a cow than supplements, but a herd can be maintained in a good Body Condition if proper levels of dry matter are available.
If you have young animals on pelleted suppliment, there is no need to make available other protein supplement, as the excess pprotein will be excreated in the urine, at a high cost to you. The best thing to do is test the hay for protein level, it is cheap, and will only take a little time to collect the samples. Forages such as Blue stem, are not highly palatable, and may require supplemantation to encourage consumption. When considering feeding a protein supplemant, don't look at producers who feed them to make themselves feel better, ie., a treat for the cattle, look at bigger producers and the condition the cattle are in, and what they are asking the cattle to do, for example, first calf heifers being bred back at 60 days in Winter Conditions, replacement females being developed, cows producing feeder calves, recipient females with ET calves at side getting ready for rebreeding.