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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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