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Once cattle are housed for fattening, the cost per kg of live weight gain increases by up to 50% compared to grass-based finishing.
Finishing cattle need to be kept gaining 1kg liveweight per day at a minimum. Cattle can grow in excess of 1.3kg per day in the first half of the grazing season on grass alone.
However, even the best quality autumn grass will only support a max of 0.8kg LWG.
Autumn grass is lower in sugar and energy. Max UFL = 0.95 vs 1.05 in the spring. Autumn grass is lower in DM of 14-16%. Cattle cannot reach a high dry matter intake to satisfy its nutritional requirements.
Feeding levels required for 1kg LWG
|Good Quality and Quantity of Autumn grass||3kg|
|Limited supply or poor quality of Autumn grass||up to 6kg|
Once you have to go above 6kg/day, it may be as well to go indoors on an ad lib concentrate diet.