Nutrition - USA - Ruminant

  • One of the hardest ideas to get across to people about ruminant nutrition is that ruminants need roughage in their diet.  People understand better the need for protein, energy, minerals as such in the diet, but they think that an ingredient …

  • One question that I get from cattle producers this time of the year is, “How good is this grass we have this year?”  Especially in a year as dry and hot as this one has been, that’s a legitimate question.

    However, at least …

  • The first in an ongoing series we’re offering on important minerals for your livestock.  This week, Calcium!

    Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the feeds that livestock normally consume.  Because of this, it is one of …

  • Have you ever asked yourself whether or not your livestock are all getting the feed you put out for them?  Whether you feed on the ground in native pastures, or in troughs in pens, how confident are you that all of your animals are getting …

  • All of you know that trying to get livestock to do what you want them to do can be very frustrating.  This is never more apparent that when you are trying to get your animals to graze parts a pasture they don’t normally use.  However, …

  • Summer is almost here. I know it seems strange to talk about supplementation during the summer, but really, summer forage conditions can be used to clarify supplementing livestock better than winter.  I mean, you expect to have to supplement …

  • Multiple-species grazing has been proven over the years to increase carrying capacity and benefit the range environment, if done correctly. Each type of ruminant we manage, cattle, sheep, goats, and deer all use a unique combination of the different …

  • Producers often ask me whether they should feed a meal, pellet, block, or textured feed for their livestock.  The answer is that the best form of feed will depend on many factors: the type of livestock, if there is more than one species to eat …

  • We are always happy to answer customer questions at any time.  This week, one of our clients asked:

    "My veterinarian said my sheep have coccidiosis.  What is that and what do I do about it?"

    Coccidiosis is a condition caused by organisms …

  • For those of you that graze improved pastures, or have reseeded native pastures to grasses that are supposed to improve growth, are you getting the production you think you should?  Maybe your soils are not up to producing the quantity and …

  • "I enjoyed your article about cottonseed, but what about gossypol and aflatoxin?"

    Good point!  I concentrated on the nutritional aspects of cottonseed and did not cover the potential problems with cottonseed.  Gossypol is always present …

  • Every year at least one person asks me whether or not whole cottonseed can be fed to their livestock.  And after all of these years, I am still surprised at the question.

    Upland cottonseed is one of the best supplements, from a nutritional …

  • Probably the most overlooked, but most frequently used mineral for our livestock is salt, chemically known an sodium chloride.  Everyone knows that livestock need salt, but how much do they need, and how do you use this requirement to your …

  • Potassium is probably the Rodney Dangerfield of the minerals in ruminant nutrition.  It doesn’t get any respect, or attention.  However, it is an extremely important nutrient that is involved in maintaining the acid-base relationship …

  • When you look at nutrition as a whole, it is really hard to say that one nutrient is more important than others.  Without energy, the body and the microorganisms would not have the fuel to function.  Without minerals, the chemical …

  • I use the term “effective rainfall” because not all of the moisture that hits the ground is usable to the plants.  Much of the rainfall that you get each year never finds its way into the soil to be used by the plants.  And …

  • Of all of the minerals we work with in livestock production, selenium has the narrowest tolerance between deficiency and toxicity.  And when you add that we know very little about the actual amount of selenium in most of the forages and browse …

  • As fall approaches, many of you will be selecting your replacement females to grow and develop to be future producers.  How well you do this can be a great influence on the future profitability of your livestock operation.

    Growing and …

  • Zinc is still looked on as one of the more important trace minerals in livestock nutrition.  It is involved not only in development of the immune system, but also sexual maturity and reproductive capacity.  Zinc is also involved in the …

  • Just what is ruminal protein? 

    Basically, it’s the protein produced by the microorganisms in the rumen.  They take the nitrogen and amino acids that are available to them in the rumen and use it to reproduce themselves.  As …