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What do they feed cows to fatten them up?

Posted on: November 7, 2019, by Victoria

1. Selection of suitable fattening population

The breed, appearance and body shape of beef cattle play an important role in the fattening effect, but in addition to selecting beef cattle with good characteristics of the breed, other conditions should be considered. When choosing feeder cattle to fatten, the appropriate age, the price for feeder cattle and cattle feeder futures should be chosen. Generally, shelf cattle aged 1.5~2 can gain higher economic benefits after 90~120 days of fattening. 

The increasing of bulls is more important than that of steers in sex selection because testosterone secreted by bulls testis is involved in blood production, fat and feed metabolism, promoting calcium balance in the body, which can significantly improve the growth rate and feed utilization of beef Charley cattle. Bulls have a higher lean meat percentage, less fat and better meat quality, so we should choose bulls as far as possible to fatten them. However, bulls over 2 years old should be castrated before fattening, otherwise, it is difficult to manage and will affect meat quality.

Five things to be noticed in beef cattle fattening process
Five things to be noticed in beef cattle fattening process

2. Selection of suitable fattening season

The optimum environmental temperature for beef cattle breeding is 7~27 ℃, and the relative humidity is 65%~70%. Excessive temperature will cause heat stress in beef cattle, which is not only harmful to fattening but also harmful to the health of beef cattle. Therefore, the best choice for the fattening season is when the temperature is below 30 ℃. Suitable temperature can promote beef cattle feed intake and feed utilization, and can also reduce cattle feed prices and the invasion of ectoparasites such as mosquitoes and flies on cattle and the loss of beef cattle's physical energy, which is beneficial to fattening.

The suitable season for beef cattle fattening is spring and autumn. The best season for beef cattle slaughtered in late autumn. The low temperature in winter and high temperatures in summer are not conducive to beef cattle gaining weight. If we choose to fatten beef cattle in winter and summer, we should do a good job of heat prevention and cold resistance to adjust the temperature to the most suitable for beef cattle fattening.

3. Choosing appropriate fattening and feeding methods

Before fattening, beef Brahman cattle should be grouped reasonably according to their breed, weight, age, body condition, and sex, to avoid fighting between cattle and facilitate management. Beef cattle fattening should be carried out in stages, which can be divided into three stages, they are the pre-fattening stage, mid-fattening stage, and post-fattening stage. These three stages should be raised and managed according to the characteristics of the growth and weight gain of beef cattle to avoid wasting feed.

In general, the pre-fattening stage is 15~20 days, which mainly restricts the activity of beef Limousine cattle, so that beef cattle can adapt to the environment and feed. The concentrate feeding amount is 0.5 kg per day, and the protein content in the diet should reach 12%. The mid-fattening stage is generally 45 days, during which concentrate feeding should be increased to achieve the purpose of rapid fattening, and the protein content in the diet should be 10%. The post-fattening stage is a period of sudden fattening.

The main task is to increase the fat content between muscles to improve the flavor and tenderness of beef. This should be mainly fed with energy feed, and the corresponding protein content should be lowed. In this stage, the feeding times should be increased appropriately, and the roughage can be fed once at night while ensuring that adequate drinking water is provided.

To select suitable feeding methods for fattening beef cattle, at present, the feeding methods of tethered feeding, free feeding, and free drinking water are mostly adopted to reduce the exercise and energy consumption of cattle. The reins tied to beef cattle should not be too long, usually 60 cm. Feeding forage grass should obey the principle of feeding less frequently, and the feeding time of beef cattle can be prolonged properly by feeding roughage first and then concentrate so that beef cattle can get the maximum feed intake. Feeding beef cattle requires a comprehensive and reasonable nutritional composition, diversified feed, and good palatability, to improve feed utilization and speed up weight gain.

Five things to be noticed in beef cattle fattening process
Five things to be noticed in beef cattle fattening process

4. Strengthen daily management

In the process of fattening beef longhorns cattle, we should do a good job of daily observation. We should observe the mental state, diet, and excretion of beef cattle every day. If we find abnormalities, we should find out the reasons in time and solve them pertinently. To ensure the safety of feed, do a good job in the storage of feed, and forbid feeding beef cattle moldy and deteriorated feed. Moreover, attention should be paid to the hygiene of drinking water to ensure that beef cattle drink enough, especially in hot summer should provide adequate and cool drinking water.

In spring and winter, the temperature of drinking water should be kept at no less than 10 ℃. To maintain the health of beef cattle, brushing the cattle body 1 to 2 times a day can not only promote blood circulation but also maintain surface hygiene, eliminate ectoparasites and enhance physical fitness. When beef cattle suffer from parasites in vivo and vitro, parasites will directly take the nutrition of beef cattle. Besides, toxic substances produced by parasite metabolism will also lead to beef cattle disease, seriously affecting the fattening effect of beef cattle, and will also pose a threat to their health.

Therefore, comprehensive screening of insect repellent and disease should be carried out in beef cattle fattening to ensure that each head of cattle is in good health. Besides, cattle should be treated once every spring and autumn, and insecticides with high efficiency and low toxicity can be selected. For beef cattle in poor condition, 100~150 g of salt can be fed to invigorate their stomach.

5. Provide a suitable feeding environment

Environmental factors play an important role in the fattening effect of beef cattle. During the fattening period of beef cattle, it is necessary for the cattle rancher to provide a comfortable living environment for beef cattle to facilitate their growth and weight gain, to achieve the best fattening effect. Keep the shed clean, dry and fresh. The feces and dirt in the shed should be cleaned up in time. Do a good job of ventilation and bedding should be changed frequently. Keep quiet near the cattle shed so as not to disturb the herd. Attention should be paid to keeping proper temperature, relative humidity and concentration of harmful gases in the shed. The cattle shed and combed are regularly disinfected thoroughly and comprehensively to reduce the damage to pathogenic microorganisms to cattle.

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