February 2017, Ashlee McEvoy, ASAP/ASAS 2017 Communications Intern
Industry specialist, Jeff House, principal of Jeff House Livestock and former NSW Department of Primary Industries cattle officer has told The Land in an interview that if livestock producers do not incorporate a protein supplement during the summer months when pasture qualities and growth are low, the producers are running risks of productivity and lowered fertility in their animals.
House states that majority of pastures in the summer and dry stubble and hayed, and can have a protein count of as low as 4 per cent. This imbalance in nutrition can cause a direct impact on rumen function, which can effect the ruminants body weight, and therefore fertility.
Traditionally farmers, when feeding requirements get low, open the gates on several paddocks and allow stock to spread across the property in search of their own food. House believes that confining stock to smaller areas makes livestock easier to feed and easy to monitor during the tougher summer heat. Not only will this have a positive effect on the livestock, but it will also allow pastures to recover quicker and at a higher quality.
“From a livestock point of view there are also productivity gains with confinement because stock use a lot of energy chasing the green feed which can cause weight loss.”
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