There are several
feeding systems. Each has their own positive and negative sides. For
you to be able to choose the right one, you must find out which would
suit the needs of your farm.
First, get acquainted with the different styles of cattle feeding. There
is the seed stock where the breeders focus mainly on developing the
genetics of the cattle. There is also the cow/calf feeding where the
farmers produce cows and calves for commercial purposes. The
stocker/grower feeding style is where farmers feed their cattle on
pasture as well as forage. And the grow yards/back grounding style of
feeding focus mainly on feeding the cattle with mostly forage to light
weight calves. And lastly, there is the custom/commercial finishing
yards. Cattle are made to gain weight of 1000 to 1500 pounds and then
they are harvested.
You now have to determine why you are
cattle so that you'll be able to decide which cattle feeding system
you will use. As you probably know by now, the diet of cattle has at
least some forage in it, this includes grass and silage. Most if not all
cattle are actually pasture-fed from birth until seven months onward.
Their diet consists of mostly grass. But as they get older, to fatten
them up and increase their diet, they are fed with small amounts of hay
and straw coupled with soy and other grain materials. There have been
many debates as to how cattle should be fed that would also be
beneficial to the society. It's up to you to choose among different
systems that would fit your wants.
There are three feeding systems. First would be the grazing systems. The
cattle are simply grazing in pastures and grasslands with hardly any
crops as part of their diet. Next there is the integrated livestock-crop
farming system. Aside from pasture, the cattle's diet now includes crops
or crop residues plus fallows. This is the widely used system because it
is the most resourceful and is profit-oriented. The goal is to have high
levels of production.
And last among the cattle feeding systems is the industrial production.
The cattle are fed not in land, but in feedlots, pens, and stalls. This
cattle feeding system attains the highest for stocking density among the
three systems. This type of system includes drugs as part of the
cattle's diet, such as hormones and feed additives.
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