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Posted by on 13 May 2022 and filed under

Why the need for Protein Supplementation?

In ruminants, the rumen fulfils the need for a fermentation tank. The volume of an adult rumen varies from animal to animal, but it is usually in the vicinity of 4 to 10 litres in sheep and 100 to 300 litres in cattle. As early as 1891, researchers indicated that a lack of protein in the feed brings about a decrease in digestibility, particularly in the fibrous parts of the feed. Ruminants use microbes (bacteria and protozoa) to help them digest feed into simple substances that the body can use; in the lower digestive tract, solid acids and many digestive enzymes are secreted to digest feed. The cell walls of the grass eaten by cattle need to be digested first so that the more easily digestible contents of the cells can be put to use. Cell walls contain pectin, cellulose, hemicellulose, polymeric lignin, phenolic complexes, and protein. Cellulolytic bacteria produce cellulase, which is the enzyme that can break down cellulose into different end-products. No glands or organs in the animal's body are capable of releasing this enzyme or other enzymes that digest bacteria cellulose.

The fewer bacteria present, the slower the rate of digestion, the slower the intake rate of the animal because the stomach is filled, and eventually fewer nutrients can be absorbed, and the animal loses body condition. Urea (a source of non-protein nitrogen) plays a vital role in building up large populations of microbes, thereby aiding digestion. A grazing ruminant's diet contains a protein concentration of as low as 3% in poor quality roughage to as high as 25% in young, actively growing grazing. Nitrogen is a building block of amino acids, which are building blocks of protein. Dietary nitrogen is used firstly by the rumen microbes. The rumen microbes are capable of building amino acids of simple nitrogen compounds.

One kilogram of Urea that contains 46% nitrogen has the equivalent of 2,87 KG of protein due to the ability of microbes to build amino acids. These amino acids produced by the rumen microbes make the ruminant independent of an outside source of essential amino acids.

The following example can best describe an essential amino acid:

If a child builds Lego blocks in the following sequence:

  • Four blue
  • One yellow
  • Two green

He would be able to continue until a specific colour is no longer available. As soon as, for instance, all the yellow blocks have been used, he will NEVER be able to build a similar tower. The yellow block is, therefore, essential.

The same happens with the "building" of protein. Muscle growth is inhibited if a specific protein is assembled, e.g. muscle protein and one amino acid are missing.

The primary shortfall in dry grazing is protein. Energy deficits also occur, but with protein supplements, the digestibility and intake of veld grasses are improved because sufficient energy becomes available. When carbohydrates such as starches, sugars, and Urea are available in the rumen, the microbe population increases, thus forming the microbial protein. Microbial protein is then broken down in the lower digestive tract. Urea can supply a portion of the protein requirements for ruminants. From the above, it is clear that a protein lick (either dry veld lick or winter lick) aims to enhance the intake of roughage but not to replace it. If there is a shortage of roughage, a winter lick could be damaging due to the increased intake. As the veld improves after rain, animals will eat less lick, and the supplement can eventually be stopped.

Did you know that Dry Veld Concentrate is one of Feedmaster's most versatile Protein-Mineral Lick Concentrates that can mix various ready mixed versions for different production phases?

Mixing instructions:

Product

Eco-Grasveldlick

Cattle Lick 40

Cow-calf Lick

Production Lick

Veld Finishing Meal

Camelthorn Mixed Lick

Mixing Instructions            
Dryveld Concentrate 50KG / 1 Bag 100KG / 2 Bags 400KG / 4 Bags 100KG / 2 Bags 50KG / 1 Bag 150KG / 3 Bags
Salt 50KG / 1 Bag 50KG / 1 Bag 200KG / 4 Bags 50KG / 1 Bag   100KG / 2 Bags
Enerfeed/Enemol     400KG 250KG 250KG  
Camelthorn Pods           50KG / 1Bag
Total 100KG / 2 Bags 150KG / 3 Bags 1000KG / 20 Bags 400KG / 4 Bags 300KG / 6 Bags 300KG / 6 Bags
             
Protein 300g 400g 280g 200g 170g 300g
Intake            
Cattle 500g 370g 600g 1000-1500g Feed 1% of Body Weight 500g
Sheep 84g Not Recommended 100g 250-400g   150g

From the above table, it can be seen that Dry Veld Concentrate can be mixed to a maintenance lick Eco-Grassveld lick/ Cattle lick 40, Cow&Calf lick, as well as a Production lick.

It can be successfully used as a veld Finishing meal. Lastly, Feedmaster's Dry Veld Concentrate can also be mixed with Camelthorn pods resulting in a maintenance lick.

Don't forget that all ruminants should have had access to a mineral lick like Feedmaster P6 so that their initial intake of a high protein concentrate is not too excessive. Too high protein supplement intakes might lead to urea poisoning if the recommended intakes are exceeded. Almost all protein supplements contain NPN in the form of Urea. It is also essential to know that a concentrate must always be mixed with salt. The following mixing instructions on the bag tickets are critical to getting to the safe ready mixed maintenance lick that suits your specific need on the farm.

Did you know that Dryveld Concentrate contains more phosphorous than any of its rivals in the market?

Dryveld Concentrate was specifically formulated for the Namibian market and contained a higher phosphorous level than any of its competing rivals. Most of the Namibian pastures have low phosphorous levels, which must be supplemented in the form of a lick.

Taking this deficiency in the veld grass into account, Feedmaster raised the phosphorus level in Dryveld Concentrate to assure that the animals' phosphorus needs were met. As many Namibian farmers don't have breeding seasons, the Phosphorus needed for a lactating cow on dry pastures is even higher. The higher Phosphorus in Dryveld Concentrate is an additional advantage to alleviate the shortage and prevent unnecessary withdrawal of minerals from the skeleton.

Dryveld Concentrate is one of Feedmaster's most versatile products and continues to be an asset in every farmer's arsenal against the continuous pressure from external factors!

Cost Calculator:

Dryveld Concentrate Maintenance Lick

   
Input Lick Cost N$/KG Total Per Month
500g N$ 5.20 N$ 79.30
     
Output    
Average Daily Gain Market Price Total Per Month
400g @ N$ 34.00/KG N$ 414.80
     
Profit After Lick Cost Deducted (N$ 414.80 - N$ 79.30) = N$ 335.50  

Oxen or Non-productive cows can grow at a rate of 850 grams per day during the dry season with production lick supplementation. At an expected cost of only N$ 233.35 per head. The expected market value per kilogram is N$32.00 per kilogram. At the growth rate, the total kilograms gained is 25.92 kilograms for one month. The profit after lick cost is N$596.25. This excludes transportation and other day-to-day costs, e.g. Labour.

One mixture of Dryveld,  Enerfeed and salt is enough for seven cattle for a month.

Dry veld Concentrate your partner in multi mixing!!!

Contact your Feedmaster technical advisor in your area for more information (061 2901300).

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