UT Beef and Forage Center


In the real world feeding cattle is not that difficult, however, successful feeding programs should be established with basic principles in mind.

Understanding the ruminant digestion systems, developing a nutritional management program, balancing animal requirements with rations, managing consumption, and other factors affecting the over-all health of a cow should be understood to a greater degree.



Making Informed Nutrition Management Decisions
Beef cattle spend much of their lives grazing pasture, and, especially in the Southeast, forage is available for grazing many days out of the year. However, there are times when cattle may need to be supplemented or fed, specifically when there is a forage or nutrient deficit or when greater animal performance is desired. Supplementation and feeding programs are not the same for every cattle operation. There are many factors at play including forage quality, class and stage of production of cattle, labor and facilities, and accessibility and economics of feedstuffs.

Forage Analysis Interpreter- Beef Breeding Female Basic Version 1.0
The purpose of this calculator is to aid in the interpretation of forage analysis results for beef cattle and to simplify supplementation decisions. In order to do so, the calculator automatically applies nutrient requirement information to the forage analysis results and cattle information that has been entered by the user. This specific calculator is intended only for use toward breeding females and is not applicable for use toward bulls or growing and/or finishing cattle.

Supplemental Feedstuff Selection and Calculators
Feed costs represent the majority of expenses incurred in any production segment of the beef cattle industry. While forages are utilized as the major source of nutrients for beef cattle in Tennessee, forages often do not contain adequate nutrients to support a desired level of production. In these situations, supplementation is often required to achieve production goals. Additionally, two web-based calculators that can be used to compare feedstuff options. W373 is intended to be used to compare different feedstuffs, while W374 is intended to be used to compare similar feedstuffs that differ in moisture content, such as wet vs. modified vs. dried distiller's grains.
Supplemental Feedstuff Value Calculator W373
Wet-Modified-Dried Byproduct Value Calculator W374

Managing Malnourished Beef Cattle
The vast majority of beef cattle are very well cared for. Unfortunately, occasional groups of cattle are found to be malnourished and in need of special care.

Mineral Nutrition of Beef Cattle
The mineral status of the brood-cow herd affects reproduction, growth, milk production and health. All of these can affect profitability, yet the cost of improving mineral status is low compared to production returns.

Nutritional Status of Beef Females Critical During Breeding Season
The nutritional status or the body condition of beef females during the breeding season has a great impact on their reproductive performance. "Thin" cows will generally experience reduced reproductive performance.

Alternative Feeds Which May Be Used During Periods of Restricted Forage Availability
There are several alternative feed resources which may be used to replace all or part of feed supply during limited forage availability.

Cold, Wet, Winter Weather Increases Feed Needs of Cow Herds
Cattle producers should be aware of the cattle's increased feed demands due to cooler and wetter, winter weather and make feeding and management adjustments to ensure profitable performance.

Feeding Large Round Bales This Winter
The wide usage of large package, round bales for feeding beef herds has made hay feeding more labor efficient, but may offer a number of management challenges to producers who wish to maintain superior hay quality and cattle performance.