2014 Feed Composition Table for 280 Byproduct Feeds of Cattle and Sheep
April 4, 2014

Nutrition research spanning more than 100 years has defined the nutrients required by animals. Using this information, diets can be formulated from feeds and ingredients to meet these requirements with the expectation that animals will not only remain healthy, but also be productive and efficient. The ultimate goal of feed analysis is to predict the productive response of animals when they are fed diets of a given nutrient composition.

Feeds can be chemically analyzed for many things that may or not be related to an animal's response when fed the feed. Thus, in the feed composition tables, certain chemical constituents are shown. The response of cattle and sheep when fed a feed, however, can be termed the biological response to the feed; that is a function of its chemical composition and the ability of the animal to derive useful nutrient value from the feed.

The latter relates to the digestibility or availability of a nutrient in the feed for absorption into the body, and its ultimate efficiency of use depending upon the nutrient status of the animal and the productive or physiological function being performed by the animal. Thus, ground fence posts and shelled corn may have the same gross energy value, but have markedly different useful energy value (total digestible nutrients or net energy) when consumed by the animal.

Therefore, the biological attributes of a feed have much greater meaning in predicting the productive response of animals. However, they are more difficult to precisely determine because there is an interaction between the feed's chemical composition and the animal's digestive and metabolic capabilities.

The biological attributes of feeds are more laborious and costly to determine and are more variable than chemical constituents. They are generally more predictive, however, since they relate to the animal's response to the feed or diet.

The full story and feed composition tables are available at http://beefmagazine.com/beef-cattle-feed/2014-feed-composition-table-280-byproduct-feeds-cattle-and-sheep.

Reprinted in part from BeefMagazine.com