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Minimum Protein Requirement In Overall Diet

21 November 2016

silage pit

Many beef and sheep silages sampled so far appear to be lower in protein than we would normally expect, even lower than last year.  It is important that you analyse your silage as this will affect the level and type of supplement needed.  Sufficient protein needs to be supplied to the rumen to provide nitrogen to the rumen bugs and enable efficient fermentation.  If protein supply is insufficient, fermentation slows down and intakes drop leading to poorer performance.

Below is a list of the minimum crude protein levels in the overall diet for different classes of stock that are recommended to maintain rumen function (these are expressed in the dry matter) expressed in g/kg Dry Matter:-

Minimum crude protein in overall ration

Dry suckler cow                                   90 g   (9%)

Lactating suckler cow                        110 g (11%)

Newly weaned suckler calf           140 g (14%)   to help with adjustment to weaning rations

Store animal                                        110 g (11%)

Fattening animal                                120 g (12%)

Intensive beef ration                      130 g (13%)  this includes the straw, it is around 15% for the concentrates only.

Mary McDowell,

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