Farm Table says:
This fact sheet talks about feed quantity management strategies when producers are required to full hand feed cattle. At times of drought, adverse seasonal conditions or where limited grazing pastures are available, producers must make management decisions on the quantity of feed given to cattle.
The items covered in this article were:
• What is this situation?
• Energy requirements in cattle
• How much feed is required and when additional feed should be added
• Feeding for survival
• Types of feed available
Key points were as follows:
• Consideration should be given in times of drought when weight loss should not decline any further. Producers should fully assess the feed requirements, feed costs, culling of stock and how long producers can continue feeding should no break in the drought occur.
• Energy requirements vary in cattle and this should be considered when assessing the situation at hand (variances in energy will be due to liveweight, energy concentration of the feed (M/D), pregnancy, lactation, growth and weather conditions).
• Feeding cattle grain for survival only should be carried out or advised by trained individuals and the introduction of grain should be done over a period of time, not all at once to avoid grain poisoning or death.
• Feed costs can be calculated by using the feed cost calculator http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/reader/4439
• Suitable feeds include grains (Wheat, barley, oats, rice, maize and sorghum), molasses, protein rich seeds (cottonseed, linseed and sunflower meals), irrigated fodder crops, protein nuts and hay (lucerne and cereal hay).