Farming is often thought of as a simple thing, whether you are growing crops or growing animals. However, the complexities in raising farm animals can be huge, and even the smallest actions every day can change how well your farm produces–especially when it comes to raising cattle. One of the small things you can do wrong when raising cattle that will completely preclude your ability to make a good profit is feeding your animals the wrong thing. Here is a look at some of the things you may be feeding your cattle that are not good for them.
Food that is Not Well Kept and Contained
If you do not keep your cattle feed in a safe place on your farm, it means that all kinds of contaminants can get into it, which can definitely have an impact on the overall health of your herd. One specific example if contamination from rodents. Mice and rats naturally gravitate toward an easy food source, so if your cattle feed containers are not properly sealed, these critters can and will make a habit of visiting feed bins and they will also drop a lot of urine and feces in the feed while they're at it.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, cattle feed with a high volume of rodent feces can lead to a high risk of disease and infection in cattle. Therefore, any feed that you keep on your farm must be held in tight containers where mice and rats cannot get inside and leave behind droppings and urine.
Loads of Corn-Based Feed
It is not at all uncommon for a herd of cattle to be fed a diet that is primarily corn-based, especially in the winter season when hay is scarce or when cattle or held in a lot in an effort to force them to gain more weight. However, corn is not a naturally good food for cows. Cows should feed more on grass-based feed than corn-based feed because corn does not settle well in a cow's digestive system.
Occasionally supplementing with corn-based feed products is okay, but feeding your cattle a lot of corn and corn derivatives can cause bloating, kidney stones, liver disease, and a full list of other problems. Therefore, corn is not a healthy or sufficient form of nutrition for your herd, and should really only be treated as an occasional treat even though your cows will seem to really enjoy the corn-based food.
Use this information to choose a healthy cattle feed.