Optimum rumen performance delivers profit

Mr and Mrs Tilson and their daughter Wanda Hobbs of Wedderlie Farm, Gordon, Roxburghshire, run a 200 cow Pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd in the uplands of the Scottish Borders.

In October 2013, Victoria Phillips, Apheya Animal Nutrition, was asked by the Tilsons to visit the farm as the growth of the Spring-born calves, at 10 months old appeared to be slowing. A full ration review was undertaken.

Silage had been analysed in October 2012, and was still being fed at the end of 2013, so the silage was analysed afresh using the BioSimetrics analysis method. Results showed a dry matter decrease of 10%, and a decrease in ME and CP content (Table 1). This emphasises the importance of regular analysis of feedstuffs, especially of silage as it can change across the clamp or between bales. Knowing the changes in silage characteristics the diet was then balanced correctly using the BioSimetrics Precision Ration Formulation Software.
Regular analysis allows a more accurate ration formulation

A new diet was developed by Victoria Phillips, Apheya Animal Nutrition, using the BioSimetrics Precision Ration Formulation Software. The programme showed the new ration was ideally balanced in quickly and slowly degradable protein which promotes rumen and animal performance.

Victoria's new BioSimetrics ration showed a saving of £0.37 per kg liveweight gain. Given the required gain of 200kg to reach a target weight of 650kg, a saving of £74.00 per animal was made.

Precision Ration Formulation Software

In October 2015, Spring Bulls with average weight 410kg at housing were fed a diet designed by Victoria Phillips of Apheya Animal Nutrition, using the BioSimetrics Precision Ration Formulation Programme. Current results are continuously compared with previous years to track animal performance (Table 2)
The programme showed the new ration was ideally balanced in quickly and slowly degradable protein (Figure 1). Active Fibre content was at a minimum, but sufficient to promote optimum rumen health, performance and dry matter intake.
Results by 3rd March 2016 showed an average daily weight gain of 2.08 kg/day, more than 0.5 kg greater than previous years. BioSimetrics Ration Formulation Software appeared to be more accurate at predicting feeding value, feed intake and performance.


 

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