Counter Grass Shortage with Proven Nutrition
Getting lambs fit for sale and keeping ewes in the correct condition as tupping approaches are two of the main challenges currently facing sheep producers, whilst cattle producers are also facing the effects of the forage shortage caused by dry, hot weather on growing cattle performance and breeding cow fertility.
Supplementing livestock in the current challenging grazing conditions is now becoming critical to help avoid potential weight losses in stock and a reduction in health and performance. The financial losses associated with poor body condition in breeding stock and the subsequent effects on fertility and offspring output are significant, whilst under-finishing animals can reduce income by around £5 and £18 per lamb and steer sold respectively.
Figure 1: Implications of suckler cow body condition score (Source: AHDB Beef & Lamb)
Numerous trials conducted over the years with all classes of ruminant livestock have shown supplementation of sparse grazing with Rumenco free-access supplements to typically increase cattle growth rates by an extra 0.2-0.3kg per head per day. As well as offering an effective and convenient method of supplementation, an extra margin of around £28 per head may be achieved even after feed costs offering a win-win situation for many.
The latest expansion of Rumenco’s free-access supplements sees two new 500kg feed and mineral blocks introduced to their range of SUPAlyx nutritional supplements this summer. SUPAlyx Jumbo Cattle Forage Booster and SUPAlyx Jumbo Sheep Forage Booster have been formulated to provide additional protein and energy plus essential minerals, vitamins and trace elements to livestock grazed in large groups where daily feeding is not appropriate, especially where fresh grass is sparse or of poorer quality.
Supplementing limited grazing sooner rather than later will help keep growth and performance on track with younger animals having improved efficiency of growth and so improved return on investment of feed offered. Reaching markets at closer to peak values adds further value to the finished stock too so delaying acting could end up costing you more than it saves.