News last update:6 Aug 2012

Feed additives needed to prevent acidosis

Good quality grain is not enough to prevent acidosis or grain poisoning in livestock. Additives or buffers are also needed according to a report by the independent Australian farm research organisation, the Kondinin Group.

The report provides an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of various types of additives, such as drenches, injections, rumen capsules, dry licks, liquid supplements, pellets and water additives. Depending on the grain used, it could be necessary to add buffers such as limestone, salt, sodium bentonite or sodium bicarbonate to the feed mix, according to the report.

Kondinin Group livestock researcher Mrs Pamela Lawson said "Livestock producers spend millions of dollars annually on additives, but how many farmers know if they are really work necessary and cost-effective. The convenience of feeding livestock ready-made supplements and additives compared with grain alone, and gaining similar production results, has helped producers maintain healthy, more productive animals, but there is a cost involved. Trial results showed it was necessary for grain fed animals to receive additives or buffers at least twice a week.

Mrs Lawson added that cattle producers needed to add ground limestone at 1-1.5% of grain to redress calcium deficiencies balance the high phosphorous content of the grain and help prevent acidosis. Limestone can be added up to 3% for the first week or two, to initially limit grain intake.

Related website:
Kondinin Group

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