Dry Season Feeding Guide

Effective dry season feeding involves supplementary feeding livestock to achieve a particular pre-determined purpose. Be-it maintaining condition on dry cows, achieving optimum growth in weaners or finishing steers, efficiency is key to managing a profitable production system during dry periods.

In order to achieve feeding goals and control costs, it is important to know the nutritional requirements of different classes of cattle and the nutritional value of available feed, so you can allocate the right amount of the right feed to the right class of animal at the right time. Essentially, “putting money where you earn money and not where you don’t.”

The tables below include basic cattle nutritional requirements, benchmarked feed values, and a few common dry season feeding scenarios that can hopefully assist with budget feeding.

Protein and Energy Requirements of Different Classes of Cattle

Benchmarked Common Feed Values

The following feed specifications have been benchmarked by AusFarm Nutrition Products from tests performed throughout the season. Although these can act as a guide for common feed specifications, it is highly recommended that producers get their feed tested, as feed values can vary greatly.

AusFarm Nutrition Products offer customers feed tests and interpretation at cost price. Contact our team to organise a feed test on your forage and know what you’re feeding today.

Dry Season Feeding Scenarios

These scenarios are built under the following assumptions:

  1. Standing feed in the paddock is limited and has zero (0) effect on the total diet.
    • Animals need to be fed to appetite and feed provided on an ad-lib basis.
    • Where combining straw and another source of feed, straw is to be offered ad-lib, and the other feed source used to boost a low value diet.
  2. Cost of feed is based on “good ryegrass silage” (see specifications in the table above) at a cost of $200 to $250/tonne.
    • Cheaper feed sources of similar specifications may be available and should be considered in the diet.
  3. All diets are supplemented with StockGro-HiPro to boost fibre digestibility and add extra energy and protein to the diet.
If you don’t have feed available with similar specifications as the feed in the examples, don’t panic. Contact one of our team to help you use what you have to the best value.

Note: In these dry season feeding scenarios we are supplementing diets with straw and a high quality silage. Other feed sources can be used in the diet as long as the NDF% enables the animal to eat the required amount and the protein and energy levels are sufficient to support the level of production expected.

AusFarm Nutrition Products’ nutritionists specialise in diet formulation and are available to assist you with formulating diets that are effective, efficient and economical.

For personalised diet formulation and dry season feeding advice contact the ANP team today.

Maintenance Feeding 500kg Dry Cows

Supporting Maintenance in Late Pregnant Cows

Supplementing to Support Peak Lactating Cows

Supplementary Feeding Growers for Optimum Liveweight Gain