If cattle are under-performing the most likely reasons are;

  • Inadequate feed intake or quality
  • Environmental factors
  • Health problems.

Inadequate feed intake is more likely with silage based diets than with high concentrate diets. Low digestibility, poor preservation, irregular feeding and inadequate feed space are some issues that will influence intake.

Only high quality silage with a D value >72 should be fed to finishing cattle. If this is not available, consider an alternative such as ad-lib finishing. Finishing cattle on silage and concentrates should consume 2—2.2% of their body weight in dry matter daily if fed silage with high intake characteristics and 5-6kg meal.  On an ad-lib system the main intake problems that occur are unpalatable feed and acidosis.  Make sure cattle don’t run out of feed, provide adequate roughage and keep a supply of fresh, clean water.

At Roadhead we provide a range of finishing blends with the perfect balance of starch, protein and energy. These blends are designed to give maximum daily weight gain.

Finishing cattle (600-700kg) require a minimum lying area of 2.3m² and minimum of 600mm (2ft) trough space if all animals feed at the same time. Signs of poor ventilation are excessive condensation on the roof and other surfaces, mould growth on timbers, and wet coats. A raised breathing rate and sweating also indicate poor ventilation.


Mark O’Sullivan