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Roughage in winter

EVEN if there is new growth of pasture and you are using various supplementary feeds, you could ask – why feed roughage?
Roughage are the bulky feeds that are mostly considered to be high in fibre and low in energy.
Roughage is needed to be fed to your livestock this winter.
Even though some roughage may be left uneaten, for digestive function livestock require a minimum amount of fibre and long roughage to maintain their digestive systems.
This is sometimes known as the ‘scratch factor’ and stimulates rumination (cud chewing).
When moving livestock onto green pasture, their rumen needs time to adjust to a new feed type.
Newly growing pasture may not have adequate fibre levels.
It may be better to supplement stock to allow the pasture to establish and develop.
Hungry cattle need to be prevented from gorging themselves on pastures that may have potential to cause nitrate poisoning or bloat.
If feeding grain or pellets with too little roughage, acidosis or grain poisoning can occur.
As we move further into winter, hay may be needed to reduce grass tetany risks and allows a way of administering Causmag.
Another good reason to feed livestock roughage in cold weather is that roughage in the diet helps keep livestock warm because the fermentation and breakdown of cellulose creates heat energy.
If livestock do not have enough roughage, the weight will melt off as they will extract body fat to create energy for warmth, and therefore it is effective to feed your livestock late in the afternoon to provide ‘heat’ through the night.
For further advice contact your local veterinarian or Agriculture Victoria veterinary or animal health officer.

Winter nutrition: cattle need fibre and long roughage to maintain their digestive systems.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22051

Posted by on Jul 25 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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