Keep a close eye on the changing season!
Winter is upon us. Pastures are haying-off and nutrient quality generally decreases as a result. During this change of season, producers should monitor the manure of their livestock to assist with identifying a reduction in feed quality. When manure starts to ‘stack up’ this is a sign that stock require extra protein to what they are receiving from the forage that they are consuming.
Early introduction to MegaMin Protein Supplements assists with increasing intake of poor-quality feed and will help avoid loss of condition and fertility due to a deficiency of energy and protein in dry feed. Protein supplementation can help increase the intake of poor-quality, low protein diets by up to 25-30%. Supplements like MegaMin Graze & Grow that contain both urea AND protein meals are preferable as the urea provides a quick boost to microbes and the protected protein from the meals will be directly available over a longer period of the day. This combination enhances the rate of digestion, stimulates appetite and allows the animal to effectively graze and digest dry pastures for longer. When flat-formed cow pats are visible this indicates that protein supplements are working or that there is adequate protein in the pasture to meet requirements.
AgSolutions has a wide range of protein supplements available in the MegaMin range and we have something to cater for most markets from conventional, grass fed, to domestic organic and the USDA National Organic Program.
Not all stock will be exposed to poor quality dry feed during this time as there will be a significant number of producers that have access to winter cereals or improved pastures, however, these bring with them another set of potential issues for animals.
When stock are grazing ryegrass, forage oats or other winter cereals it generally means that protein and energy are no longer the most limiting nutrients and the next link in the chain to help improve production in this scenario is magnesium. Magnesium is absorbed in the rumen and uptake is inhibited by high protein, high fatty acid concentrations and high potassium that is common when livestock have access to lush green feed. It is quite common to see stock scouring when grazing lush forage due to the significant water content and lack of effective fibre in the plant and this situation can quickly lead to a magnesium deficiency. If an insufficient amount of magnesium is absorbed from the diet an outbreak of grass or oat tetany may occur which can result in significant stock losses.
MegaMin Extra Magnesium products have been formulated specifically to help maximise production of stock and minimise the risk of mineral deficiencies associated with lush green forage. To support potential weight gains and get a return on investment from stock grazing expensive forages ensure they are introduced to the supplement at least 1-2 weeks prior to grazing. This will allow time to establish an appropriate intake before stock go onto the highly palatable forage.
If you would like to discuss your supplementation options with one of AgSolutions’ nutrition team please contact us on 1800 81 57 57.