Protein for Cattle

By: Alan Jefery

Protein is a very important part of a cattle’s diet. When the cattle is deficient in protein, they will have small to no appetite, will have lower chance of getting a healthy body and will also experience loss of weight. Those beef cattle that need more protein or protein supplementation are oftentimes lactating cows, calves and growing cows. Giving a good supply of protein to beef cattle is a necessary way to improve cow’s health, productivity and will offer a greater chance of profit. Although protein supplements are very costly for a ranch owner or a beef cattle operator, it is still needed for the cattle to get their needed nutrients.

Protein in cattle diets are oftentimes called as crude protein. Crude protein is composed of non protein kind of nitrogen and a true protein. Not all compounds with nitrogen are true proteins. A good example for this is urea. True proteins are also known as natural protein. It can or cannot be broken down. True proteins are those that are metabolizable and will be absorbed in the intestines of the cattle. Protein insufficiency is a big issue during warm seasons such as summer. This is because the grasses that cattle graze upon get inadequate nitrogen. Another thing that could affect nitrogen fertilization on plants is the excessive rainfall as the soil reduces nitrogen levels that are supposed to be available for plants.

Cattle Protein Needs

The requirements of cattle protein depends and varies according to the size of the animal, the performance and the stage of production. When cattle are in lactation, large cattle usually need a bigger size of crude protein each day compared to the smaller cattle. The reason for this is because protein is needed in milk production as well as in the reconditioning of the reproductive tract after giving birth.

The young cattle particularly require high levels of true protein in their feed in order to fully support the growth of muscles. The feeds or forage for calves that are still being nursed should at least have 15 percent of true protein.

Protein Supplements

The protein supplements are available in various forms. They can be given as protein blocks, feedstuffs, high quality forages, and liquid supplements. While these forms of protein for cattle can greatly help in the daily protein requirement, these supplements still need to be paired with cattle feed or hay. It is always advised to use commodity based co-product feedstuff to help supplement forage based diets of those cows that are lactating.

NPN or Non Protein Nitrogen

Feeding of urea to cattle is possible and those that produce urea consider it as good in economics. However, urea can be highly toxic when improperly fed to cattle. Urea can be quickly transformed to ammonia when entering the rumen. This may be used by bacteria to make proteins or may also be injected in the bloodstream. If there is too much urea or the energy source to produce protein in the rumen is limited, urea can enter the cattle’s circulatory system. If the cow’s liver cannot remove all of it, cattle may suffer urea poisoning or ammonia toxicity and may result to death within a span of 30 minutes.

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You cattle need proper nutrition, as it is very important for their healthy lives and well-being. Cattle protein is a great source of required nutrients for them. Visit Uniblock to get more information.

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