Cattle

Quick Tips for Feeding Cattle During Drought Conditions

Nutrition : Forage

Management : Cow & Calf

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Purina Animal Nutrition

When feeding cattle during a drought, here are a few items to keep in mind:
  1. Lack of adequate water. During a drought be sure to watch natural water sources for your cattle such as ponds and tanks, to be sure there is adequate quality water available.
  2. Type and source of supplemental feeds for your cattle. It’s critical if using low fed- rate supplements to make sure forage supplies are adequate. Remember, these types of cattle feeds are designed to be forage supplements, not replacements. If forage supply is limited, these products cannot work as designed.
  3. Hay cut under moisture stress conditions, especially sorghum type hays, may contain high levels of nitrate and prussic acid. If in doubt, it would be good to test for nitrate before feeding your cattle such hays, especially before feeding large amounts.
  4. Cattle grazing short pasture are more likely to consume toxic plants. Talk to your local extension agent or forage specialist for toxic plant potential in your area.
  5. Low diet digestibility and reduced intake may result in nutritional deficiencies when cattle receive inadequate protein (less than 7% to 8% CP in total diet) from low quality forage such as drought pasture or forage substitutes such as peanut hulls, straws or gin trash.
Find supplements to help extend your forages.