News 433 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Australian study looks at feed additives

Each year Australian livestock producers spend millions of dollars routinely feeding and administering additives, but are they really necessary, cost-effective and do they really work? These questions are answered in a recent report released by the Australian agricultural Kondinin Group into the worth of the popular but expensive livestock food additives.

The report gives in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of supplements such as drenches, injections, rumen capsules, dry licks, liquid supplements, pellets and water additives.

Get the most out of it
In this appraisal, Kondinin Group's livestock researcher, Pamela Lawson, outlines the various methods that farmers can use to get the most out of livestock supplements as well as invaluable tips on how to prevent bloat and grass tetany. She says the convenience of feeding livestock ready-made supplements and additives compared with grain while still gaining similar production results - have helped producers maintain healthy, more productive animals but there is a cost involved.

"For example the liquid urea-fortified molasses Molafos can be an expensive way to maintain livestock at A$46.92 per head per week while feeding grain or home-made mixes are consistently cheaper for similar production," Mrs Lawson said.

Independent trials
The report looks at independent trial results that compare the performance of different additives when administered to animals with that of the performance of hay and grain. The trials also compared animals of varying type and age and in different grazing circumstances such as grazing stubbles, winter cereals and being supplementary fed grain. The Kondinin Group says the report is essential reading for Australian farmers. It provides farmers with the information to save them thousands of dollars each year as well as to encourage growers to re-evaluate their feeding regimes.

Related website:
Kondinin Group

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