High Starch Diets For Beef Finishers

Finishing beef cattle on high starch diets has many known benefits not least being increased growth rate.  With the current price of cereal feeds, it is currently an economical approach which can also improve carcass conformation and hence give higher returns per kilo.

Increasing the starch in finishing beef diets has a number of established benefits:

  • Improved growth rates – raising the starch level during the finishing period increases the energy density of the diet and improves growth rate.
  • Economics – improved growth rate improves efficiency, reducing the greenhouse gas production per kilo of meat produced and increasing turnover from the enterprise.
  • Leaner carcasses – beef cattle fed high starch finishing diets have lower fat cover when compared to diets based on grass or silage alone and can have better marbling within the meat.

While there are benefits, there are also some drawbacks to feeding increased starch to finishing cattle:

  • Adaptation – managing the introduction of starch into the diet requires good management and attention to detail.
  • Health Risks – feeding ruminants starch without proper management or a carefully balanced diet can lead to pitfalls such as sub-acute ruminal acidosis, particularly if the silage used is also low in pH / high in lactic acid.

The Wynnstay Prime Beef Range with high cereal inclusion also incorporates Biosprint live yeast primarily to improve daily live weight gain and production efficiency.  In addition, live yeast has a rumen modulation effect by stimulating lactic acid utilising bacteria and promoting an anaerobic rumen.  These are technical terms but in plain language it all adds up to a more efficient rumen fermentation with better feed conversion; happy rumen bugs means good production means happy stockmen!

To look at the diet in detail discuss the benefits of the Prime Beef Range including Biosprint with your Wynnstay representative or speak to your local store

Written by Steve Brown – Feeds Product Manager


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