Feeding Programs/Systems

 
      
 
 
 Knowledge Nuggets | Fact Sheets | Research Papers

Knowledge Nuggets

  • Stored feeds make up a large part of the yearly cost of cow calf production and can be significantly reduced when cow calf producers evaluate their need for stored feed.
  • The most significant factor affecting the amount of stored feed needed is the length of the feeding season. Fall grazing can be extended with the use of crop aftermath and stockpiled pasture. Cows can graze through snow up to 20 cm deep.
  • Matching the nutrient requirements of the cow with the nutrients available in pasture will efficiently utilize pasture. In doing this, the cow should receive most of her nutrients from the pasture with minimal supplementation.
  • If crude protein content falls below approximately 7.5 - 8 %, dry matter intake declines making it difficult for the cow to consume enough forage to meet energy requirements because of low feed passage rates.
  • Protein requirements increase as winter temperatures decline and pregnancy advances.
  • The condition of the cow going into the winter has a dramatic effect on feeding costs. Cows in body condition score of lower than 3 have reduced tolerance to cold and wind than cows with body condition score of 3 or more. Extra body fat is available as insulation and acts as an energy reservoir that cows can draw from when needed.
  • Time of weaning has a dramatic effect on fall body condition. Cows of early weaned calves gain more condition during the winter and weigh more at breeding time than cows of late weaned calves.
  • Swath grazing during the winter months enables cattle to harvest their own feed.
  • Cows consume barley swaths at rates similar to the amount of silage and straw consumed by daily fed cows. Swath grazed cows consume more digestible energy than cows fed daily but gain less weight. This indicates that cows grazing swaths require about 20% more energy to offset the energy costs needed for digging through the snow.
  • Swath grazing requires 44% less labor and costs 47% less than traditional daily feeding. Also swath grazing requires 28% less labor and costs 42% less than alternate day feeding.
  • Bale grazing is practiced to reduce the cost of yardage of daily moving feed to the cows in the winter. This saving of yardage must be greater than the cost of feed wastage.
  • Cattle are able to resume grazing early in the spring on dormant carryover growth from the previous year.
Fact Sheets

Balancing grazing and harvested forage in beef cow/calf herds - available in PDF format only

Beef Cow-calf Productivity as Influenced by Forage-Management Systems

Beef Cow Rations and Winter Feeding Guidelines

Commercialization of Net Feed Efficiency Beef Cattle

Effect of Winter Feeding Systems on Beef Cow Performance - available in PDF format only

Effect of Winter Feeding Systems on Cow Performance and Crop Yield - available in PDF format only

Effect of Winter Feeding Systems on Soil Nutrients, Soil Distribution and Soil Compaction - available in PDF format only

Evaluation of Year-round Forage Management Systems for Spring-and Fall-Calving Beef Cows - available in PDF format only

Feed Systems Cost Evaluator

Feed Value Calculator

Feeding Natural Cattle - available in PDF format only

Forage Quality Influences Beef Cow Performance and Reproduction. - also available in PDF format

How to Estimate the Value of Supplementing Grazing Stocker Cattle - available in PDF format only

Low input, high output management, practices for beef cow/calf herds - available in PDF format only

Matching Livestock and Forage Resources in Controlled Grazing

Substituting Grain for Hay in Winter Rations for Beef Cows - also available in PDF format

Supplement Delivery Systems - available in PDF format only

Sustainable Livestock Wintering: How Can It Work for You? available in PDF format only

Research Papers

A Review of Metabolic and Endocrinological Systems Governing Cow Body Weight and Body Condition in Lactating Beef Cattle

Alternative fall and winter feeding systems for spring calving beef cows

Association of performance, visceral organ weights, plasma metabolites, and pancreatic enzyme levels with residual feed intake for different breed types of feedlot steers - available in PDF format only

Bioperformance evaluation of various summer pasture and winter feeding strategies for cow-calf production - available in PDF format only

Comparison of alternative backgrounding systems on beef calf performance, feedlot finishing performance, carcass traits, and system cost of gain - available in PDF format only

Corn or soybean hull incorporation into haylage-based backgrounding diets: effect on growth and efficiency during the backgrounding and finishing phases -available in PDF format only

Effects of winter feeding system on beef cow performance, reproductive efficiency and system cost - available in PDF format only

Effects of beef cow winter feeding systems, pen manure and compost on soil nitrogen and phosphorous amounts and distribution, soil density, and crop biomass - available in PDF format only

Feeding strategies for improving productivity of growing steers fed grass silage - available in PDF format only

Influence of post-calving supplemental protein on calf performance and reproductive efficiency for beef cows fed silage - available in PDF format only

Management strategies to improve cow-calf productivity on meadow bromegrass pastures - available in PDF format only

Relationships among residual feed intake, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and infrared images in beef cows - available in PDF format only

Strategicially Feeding Protein And Energy During Wintering And Managing Cow Condition - available in PDF format only

The effect of different levels of feed intake on pancreatic growth and alpha amylase concentration in beef cattle - available in PDF format only

The effect of feeding soybean oil to mid lactation dairy cows on milk production and composition and on diet digestion
 
 
 
  For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This document is maintained by Mary Ann Nelson.
This information published to the web on October 6, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 23, 2017.
 

Home | Contact Us | Privacy Statement
The user agrees to the terms and conditions set out in the Copyright and Disclaimer © 2003 - 2017 Her Majesty the Queen