Ways & How

How to Feed Cattle

How to Feed Cattle

Feeding cattle involves commitment and effort. There are essential factors you need to consider like the weather, the different kinds of food, the feeding process and, of course, the type of cattle you are raising. Cattle raisers also consider the proper formula of cattle feeds with the required nutrients. Here are some simplified instructions on how to feed cattle:

  1. Identify the types and needs of your cattle. Cows differ in body condition, so segregate the thin cows from the fat cows when feeding. Thin cows require food with added nutrients to gain weight. You may put them back together after feeding. Heavier cows still need to maintain their good form by grazing in the field.

  2. Know the different kinds of food. Grasses are commonly fed to cattle - it is the cheapest. Grass is one of the most effective cattle foods, and it can always be available from your surroundings. Other varieties of food include hay, grain, silage and total mixed ration or TMR. These types of cattle food may vary in your locality.

  3. Seek professional help in designing the proper ration of food for your cattle. You may need a work book to record the cattle’s daily food requirements, depending on their weight, age and other factors.

  4. Make sure to sustain the needs of the cattle during winter. Store some hay or roughage. You must plan for this season to ensure that you are prepared when there are no more grasses in the field. Otherwise, your cattle may lose their appetite because of poor quality feeds and stress due to the cold weather. Although cattle are fed less during winter months than summer months, give them food filled with nutrients during this season.

  5. Cattle need sustainable protein in the freezing winter months. You can also feed them grain mixed with minerals. Salt is an alternative to supply the needed minerals for the cattle’s food.  Make sure that water is always available. Keep a daily checking of the water tank - the water might freeze and turn into solid ice.

  6. Take advantage of the convenience brought by the summer season. Take your cattle to the field for a good pasture. They may enjoy the early grasses of spring; it is like a special treat for them. Although watch out for the possibility of loose stools due to the excessive water content of these green grasses. These may be a good delicacy for them, but they are not sufficient to supply the needed nutrient value for your cattle. Give additional hay because each cow needs about an acre of good pasture daily. Add their food with mineral mix and a sufficient supply of water to sustain their daily food requirements.

  7. Assess the quality of food you are going to feed your cattle. Never rely on the outer appearance of the feeds. Always check in detail the components of the feeds to ensure the quality.  You may encounter some problems if you cannot identify the good ones from the bad. It could be fatal to the cattle if they are overfed with useless feeds, leading to bloated stomachs.

How to feed cattle is not a simple thing to accomplish - it involves science to formulate the proper daily intake for the cattle. It is essential to support them with quality grasses and accurate amounts of minerals for their daily needs.


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