Influence of fall protein supplementation with a self-fed liquid supplement on performance of beef cows grazing tallgrassprairie range



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Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service


We evaluated the effect of providing a liquid, high-protein supplement during the fall grazing period on beef cow and calf performance. Mature, pregnant, spring-calving cows (n=122) grazing native range were assigned to supplementation treatments. All calves were weaned on October 15. Control cows received no fall supplementation and then were handfed a dry supplement (40% crude protein; as fed basis) from December 17 until calving. Supplemented cows were either allowed access to a liquid protein supplement (40% crude protein; as-fed basis) approximately 2 months before weaning until calving (fall supplementation from August 14 to December 17) or from weaning until calving (fall supplementation from October 15 to December 17). Supplement intake of the control cows from December 17 until calving was adjusted to match the estimated supplement intake of the liquid-fed groups and was prorated and fed 3 days/week. Supplementation was terminated upon calving, at which time all cows were treated similarly. Provision of liquid supplement during the fall increased cow body weight and body condition in the post-weaning period. However, cows not supplemented during the fall phase were able to overcome their lesser previous nutrition when they were suitably supplemented during the winter phase. The pre-weaning rate of gain of calves was not affected by fall supplementation. Calves produced by cows receiving no fall supplementation gained more weight from birth to the start of the summer grazing season. Subsequent pregnancy rate was not affected by fall supplementation.



Beef, Protein, Tallgrassprairie, Self-fed liquid