Dry Feed Supplementation
DRY FEED SUPPLEMENTATION: Compare trail feeding to using Advantage Feeders
At stages through the year, ruminants need supplementation to be productive. The way the supplement is provided has a big impact on the animal because most supplements are high in starch and adding starch into the rumen can lower the pH, kill off microflora and lead to a decrease in productivity. It can be important to productivity that the supplement is provided in little and often amounts so the amount of starch digested at any stage isn’t enough to change the pH greatly and effect productivity. Our research has shown that supplementing with 45% less feed through Advantage Feeders, compared to trail feeding, can have the same production.
Our information sheet (right), provides a brief overview and explains:
- How pasture is limiting production
- The latest science about how to rectify pasture issues
- Quantifying potential gains from complementary feeding
Farming operations are complex. The following pros and cons have not been factored into this calculator:
- It is very common for feeders used in this calculator to be used for other purposes at different times of the year. This reduces the depreciation expense and increases the return on investment.
- Research has shown that using feeders, compared to trail feeding, at lambing time can increase the number of lambs weaned.
- Faecal egg counts can be lower for ewes eating from feeders because they are less likely to be ingesting worms compared to ewes receiving a supplement placed on the ground.
- While filling and monitoring feeders takes time, it is common for farmers to halve their labour and vehicle costs to provide supplement to their livestock.
- Putting supplement on the ground by trail feeding can contaminate future crop production.
- Training stock to feeders for the first time takes time however, if you choose to creep feed or imprint feed lambs before weaning, it eliminates this cost.