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    Alternative Feeds | Winter 2011 Out Here Magazine

    Extend your supply with these options

    loose corn being sifted through hands
    Out Here

    Courtesy of the University of
    West Virginia Extension Service

    Photography by iStock

    This year’s dry weather in certain parts of the country has led to over-grazed pastures and short hay crops. When you’re looking at buying supplemental feed, compare feeds based on price and nutritive value, the availability of homegrown forages and their nutritive value, and the nutritional requirements of the livestock being fed.

    These are some options:

    • Corn gluten feed is a high-protein, high-energy feed. It is not as palatable as some other by-product feeds but animals perform well on it.
    • Corn is the staple livestock feed commodity in the United States. It a good source of energy, but it is low in protein. It is used regularly to feed growing and finishing cattle, dairy cattle, and sheep.
    • Cottonseed is a high-energy, high-protein supplement. It is high in energy because it has a high fat content. If fed in too great an amount, the fat in the seed can adversely affect the rumen bacteria and the digestibility of hay in the ration.
    • Soybean hulls are the skins taken off soybean seeds before they are processed for oil and meal. They are relatively high-energy, medium- protein feed. When fed to dry beef cows they do not suppress the digestibility of low-quality hay.
    • Soybean meal is a high-energy, high-protein feed. This feed is probably best purchased by the bag or by the ton in small lots because it is used in only small amounts to meet the protein needs of livestock.
    • Wet brewers grain is a high-protein, medium-energy feed. The main difficulty with this feed is the high moisture content, which makes it difficult to store.
    • Wheat bran or midds (middlings) are moderately high in protein and energy. These feeds are slightly different by-products of the wheat milling industry but are similar in feeding value.

    Courtesy of the University of West Virginia Extension Service.

     

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