Cattle Feed: Food Compatibility and Varieties of Diets

Cattle feed is the most important and the most uncertain part of all the activities of cattle rearing. This happens because there are many varieties, different alternatives, and methods to feed the cattle. The possibilities range from fattening to diets based exclusively on grass, or they can be a combination. In front of this, there are feed formulations for cattle depending on sex, age, diet, breeding method, the climate in which they live, etc.

The power indications are different for each case. If you feed the cattle badly, their dung will smell pests. There are many different types of food that cattle get during their lifetime, often fed to them in different combinations with specific nutritional goals and growth in mind. Rations and feed composition may vary depending on the time of year, what food is currently available and economical and the category and sex of the animals.

Cattle Feed

Corn of Cattle Feed

Corn figures largely feed on certain types of beef cattle, such as in the background and finishing steers and heifers. In the one feeding scheme, steers feed 2,250 pounds of maize over the course of 212 days.

Backgrounding refers to the grazing of young cattle in preparation for the fattening farm, while the finishing consists in feeding the cattle during the last months before the processing. Maize can be administered to cattle in a whole or dry ground shell form. Mixing corn with other grains like sorghum reduces acidosis and improves feed efficiency. Some beef cattle in specified feeding systems receive little or no corn, such as wheat, steers and heifers, and eastern and western Kansas of animals in systems throughout the grazing season.

Mixing corn with other grains like sorghum reduces acidosis and improves feed efficiency. Some beef cattle in specified feeding systems receive little or no corn, such as wheat, steers and heifers, and eastern and western Kansas of animals in systems throughout the grazing season.

Grain Sorghum and Fodder

Sorghum forms another large part of the feed for certain cattle and can be administered in even greater amounts than any maize feeds the cattle. Sorghum can be administered to cattle such as grain or silage, the latter being wet forage stored in silos. Wheat steers and heifers grazing receive 240 pounds of sorghum grain, also known as milo, over 120 days, and no sorghum silage, while backgrounding and finishing steers and heifers receive both grain and sorghum silage in roughly equal proportions. The latter steers and heifers also receive corn and alfalfa hay, in addition to sorghum, while the former does not.

Meadow and Alfalfa Hay

There can be a relatively small or considerable part of the cattle diet and is used along with other foods, such as corn and sorghum. Proportionally, a finished steer can receive 435 pounds of alfalfa hay compared to 1855 pounds of corn and 1,235 pounds of grain sorghum over 141 days. When feeding hay for cattle, cattle “Today” reports starting with hay only for the first twelve hours, then placing the rest of the mixed ration on the top of the straw. Placing the ration elsewhere results in cattle eating too much hay or mixed ration, leading to digestive problems.


In certain types of feeding systems, pastures and supplements may be the only types of food that cattle receive. Depending on whether the cattle are grazed during the whole season or early intensive. Their days in the pasture can be 75 or 150 days. Proponents of grass-fed beef distinguish cattle that have been herded throughout their lives, rather than pasture-finishing or grazing in the latter part of their lives. For the same reason, may have been grazing cattle early in life, but then finished grain. Grain-finished meat does not contain as many healthy conjugated linoleic acids and omega-3 fatty acids as their finished herb counterparts.

Things to take into account when feeding cattle

  1. Design a feed plan according to the cattle you have. There are computer programs you can use, but doing it with paper and pencil is just as effective. There are power tables that you can get through colleges, or some agricultural extension of the government and can often be found on the Internet, so you can decide which plan to select.
  2. Record and determine a ration for your cattle based on the following factors that determine nutritional requirements:
  • Sex of your cattle
  • Generally, bulls, steers, cows and heifers require different diets.
  • Cows are the ones that have the most difficult food to formulate because they go through reproductive periods that determine when they require more or fewer nutrients in their diet. (Pregnancy vs. lactation)

Body Conditions

  • Thinner cattle require more nutrition and more food than larger cattle.

Type of cattle being Raised:

  • Dairy cows require a higher ration than the intake cows need.
  • Display cattle need a ration based on the weight they can increase from the time the feed is defined and the date the animal is displayed.
  • Cattle for fattening requires high-quality rations beef cattle. On the other hand, requires a high-quality ration for the next few months before being slaughtered.

If the cattle you are raising is growing, you are keeping it to keep your weight, to lose it or to add a few kilos.

Growing cattle such as steers and calves. Young bulls and heifers require more energy and protein than cows or bulls that are being fed to maintain or lose weight. However, if a cow is too skinny and needs to gain weight. The cow needs to eat almost the same as a growing bull, steer, or calf

  • Replacement teats need to be fed to achieve a healthy weight, but be careful not to overgrow it too quickly because this could prevent them from being fertile.

Identify Breed of Cattle

One may think it is not important, but determining the breed of cattle allows you to decide how to feed it and what each will need to grow healthy and be fertile animals.

  • Continental breeds like Charolais, Simmental, and Limousin require more care than an Angus, a Shorthorn or a Hereford. These precautions are all about feeding supplements when they only feed on grass than those animals that can only eat grass.

Convertibility of Forage

This determines whether the animal is easy to care for (when on a grazing diet it will increase or maintain its weight), or difficult, and consistently lose weight following the same diet as an easy-care animal.

  • Most producers, especially those who have animals for breeding, sacrifice the difficult because they require more food than the rest of the animals that feed on grazing only.

Type of farm you own or manage

  • Cattle raised in a feedlot requires a different ratio than those that grow free in the pasture. This is because cattle that grows on the landfill must be fed, with no possibility of finding pastures on their own.


If you’re looking for information about how to feed cattle, this guide should have helped. We hope it has given you some new ideas on what feeds are best suited to your needs and the climate in which they live. For more great articles like this one, sign up for our newsletter!

As A Reference: Wikipedia

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