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How do you breed beef cattle in winter?

Posted on: November 6, 2019, by Victoria

1. Reserve of roughage and concentrate
Because of the low temperature in winter, beef cattle breeding should be changed from fresh forage to dry lot feeding. It is necessary to reserve enough roughage and concentrate on dry lot feeding. Generally, roughage can be produced by combining forage, maize, straw and silage, yellow silage, microbial silage, ammoniation from the forage market.

Skills in beef cattle breeding in winter
Skills in beef cattle breeding in winter

Concentrate includes energy feed and protein feed. Maize is the main energy feed. Protein feed can replace soybean meal with rapeseed cake and cotton meal which are relatively low in price. Besides, some feed additives, such as licking bricks, should be reserved to supplement the deficiency of feed nutrients and to improve the palatability of feed and feed utilization rate, enhance the disease resistance of beef cattle, and promote their normal development and accelerate growth.

2. Control of feed acidity
In the process of beef cattle feeding, the cattle company should pay attention to the control of feed acidity. The PH value of fermented feed such as silage and yellow silage is generally about 5.0. Acetic acid and lactic acid will be produced during fermentation, which will make the acidity of silage too high. Silage with high acidity not only reduces palatability but also corrodes and stimulates the teeth and gastrointestinal tract of beef cattle, which is unfavorable for consumption. Adding a little urea can solve the problem of excessive acidity of silage and improve the protein content.

The acidity of fermented products such as distiller's grains and fruit dregs is also high. If beef cattle like Simmental cattle are fattened with these feeds for a long time, the quality of cattle will be affected. Cattle will have bad symptoms such as fur burning and skin tightness, and the fattening effect is not ideal. At the same time, it also has a great impact on beef quality. In this case, a certain amount of baking soda can be added to concentrate.

Skills in beef cattle breeding in winter
Skills in beef cattle breeding in winter

3. The problem of drinking water should not be neglected
Drinking water is also a problem that the beef cattle rancher needs to pay attention to in winter. Generally, to meet the needs of beef cattle drinking water, it is most appropriate to use the free drinking water method. All cattle pen is equipped with a device that allows cattle to drink water at will. The position of the device is preferably located on one side or above the fecal and urinary ditch of the cattle pen. When the outflow water or the water from the water supply system enters the fecal and urinary ditch quickly, it will not wet the cattle pen.

However, in the north where the temperature is lower, it is difficult to drink water freely. It can only drink water regularly, but at least three times a day. For the temperature of drinking water in winter, according to the research data, there was no difference in the growth rate of fattening cattle under three conditions, they are warm water (15 ℃), ice water and snow. Therefore, cold water can be used for fattening cattle in winter without heating up, then the cattle feed prices can be reduced.

4. Keep cattle shed ventilated to prevent the spread of disease
In the process of beef cattle breeding, attention should be paid to ventilation in cattle shed. Beef cattle do not affect the growth and development rate at 0~4 ℃, but at present, many cattle farms pay too much attention to the heat preservation of the cattle shed, which makes it appear high humidity. When the humidity exceeds 70%, the growth and development speed of cattle will decline.

Therefore, ventilation facilities need to be taken into account in the establishment of the cattle shed. Besides, in winter, when cattle begin the co-feeding, the density of beef cattle increases, and the risk of epidemic disease transmission increases. Ventilation can reduce the morbidity of Dexter cattle to a certain extent.

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