What to Look while buying Cattle Feed
To make a cattle farming business profitable, due attention needs to be paid on the quality of the feed provided to the cattle. With the increasing demand of good quality cattle produce, the cattle farmers in turn need to take special care of rearing the cattle. This has resulted in higher demands of highly nutritious and balanced feed.
The cost of cattle feed comprises of about 60 to 70% of the total cost incurred in raising good quality cattle. Therefore, to increase the profitability, the cattle farmers need to manage the costs effectively to maximise the returns. Hence most of the cattle farmers opt for an integrated farms wherein they deploy some area for producing the cattle feed and put the extra feed for sale. This also is advantageous for the cattle farmers without any source of feed, as they have more options to buy from.
The cattle feed quality depends on a variety of factors in relation to the cattle to be fed. The factors include the age of the cattle, stage of reproduction and the weather. Higher levels of nutrition is required in the cattle feed for calves and pregnant cows as compared to matured and dry cows. Better quality feed is also required during colder temperatures.
Further, owing to the source of produce and growing conditions of these feed, the nutritional value and quality varies. If the forage is stored for longer duration, the fibre content increases. To evaluate the digestibility of the fibres, the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) is determined. The RFQ is a very useful index used for promotion of the quality of the feed for sale. Also, the digestibility of the fibres also help in determines the estimation of the quantity of the feed that the cattle shall consume.
Normally the feed for sale include grains, hay, silage and straw. While the calves raised on pasture right from the birth are normally used for beef production, the dairy cattle are supplemented with grains in their feed. Feeding the dairy cattle with grains increases the efficiency of production of the feed and reduces the area required for supporting the cattle feed. The cattle may also be fed silage till they are fattened. The next step to feed the fattened cattle is providing hay supplemented with grains and some other ingredients. While the pasture is available for free, the other feed such as, grains, silage, etc. are put up for sale. Hence to achieve higher profits, mixed farming techniques are implemented which helps the beef producers earn extra by putting the feed for sale.
The feed cattle industry is a blooming industry where huge profits can be achieved through customising the cattle feeding techniques. So in order to maximise the profits, more and more cattle farmers are entering into the feed production business. With so many traders available for selling the cattle feed, due diligence should be done to assess the quality of the feed before buying it, keeping in mind the end usage and requirement.