The basic principle in cattle breeding is to ensure that the animals with strong genetic structure and the fastest gain in live weight benefit from the unit feed amount at the highest level. Ensuring high fattening performance economically is also provided by feeding the animals with the right amount of feed and in the appropriate time period. Ration preparation and feeding animals play an important role in beef production. Because, according to the basic principle called FATTENING PERFORMANCE , the amount of feed consumed by the animal for each kg of live weight gain, together with the daily live weight gain, shows the success to be obtained from fattening.
FACTORS AFFECTING FATTENING PERFORMANCE
Animal’s breed: While the daily live weight gain is around 1 kg in native breeds whose genetic potential is not superior, this figure can increase to 1.4-1.6 kg per day in culture breeds and crosses with high genetic potential. However, with very good care and feeding, it is possible to increase this figure to over 1 kg in domestic breeds.
Sex: Male cattle have a better fattening performance than female cattle.
Age: It is the most important factor affecting performance in cattle breeding. The animals to be fattened must not have completed the growth period. Feeding can be done up to 1.5 years of age in culture breeds and crosses, and up to 2.5-3 years of age in domestic breeds. The fattening should not be exceeded beyond these ages.
Body condition: Condition shows the animal’s development and fattening status. Animals that received good care and feeding during the calf period, have a good skeletal system, but become weaker afterwards show better fattening performance.
Health status: Animals to be fattened must be medicated and vaccinated against parasitic diseases before fattening.
FEEDING CATTLE NUTRITION
Feed mixtures are prepared in order to meet both the survival and yield share needs of livestock. A fattening calf consumes approximately 2.5% of its daily body weight of dry matter. For example, a beef calf with a live weight of 400 kg should consume 10 kg of dry matter feed per day. While preparing the ration for the animals, a target should be determined for the live weight of the animal, daily live weight gain and the final live weight, and feed mixtures should be prepared accordingly. Energy needs of beef cattle depend on age and CA. Depending on the ration energy level, the rate of live weight gain in animals varies. In young animals, the amount of water and protein in the body is higher and the amount of fat is lower. The increase in weight towards the end of fattening is in the form of fat accumulation. In this period, the need for protein in the diets of animals decreases and the need for energy increases
Green corn product and meadow-legume mixtures can be fed to animals as roughage during the vegetation period. These green fodders can sometimes be given together with dry roughage at hand. In this context, straw is one of the most commonly used roughage. However, it should not be forgotten that straw is the poorest quality among roughage. The amount of straw to be fed to animals varies according to the energy content of the feed and other feed sources in the ration. However, the known practical application is that the animals should always have roughage in front of them. Sugar beet pulp, which is offered to the consumption of animals as dry and wet, is a feed with high energy content. As it is poor in filler, it is beneficial to give it to animals with straw. Silage can be used in cattle breeding and generally good quality ones should be given to young animals.
Feeds that fall into the concentrate feed group (grain crumbs + pulp or factory feed) should constitute 50-60% of the total dry matter amount compared to roughage in beef cattle rations in the early fattening periods, while this rate can reach 60-70% in the advanced fattening periods. and should reach 80% at the end of fattening periods. In other words, a fattening calf with a live weight of 300 kg should provide 4-5 kg of the total dry matter requirement at the beginning of fattening, and 6-7 kg of the total dry matter requirement of 400 kg of live weight in the advanced fattening period from concentrated feed. This amount can reach up to 10 kg at the end of fattening for 500 kg live weight.