Myth Buster: Is feeding extra protein wasteful?

In this short three and a half minute video, ruminant nutritionist Gaye Krebs from Charles Sturt University, responds to the sometimes held belief that feeding extra protein to livestock (sheep and cattle) is beneficial. Answering the question is feeding too much protein to livestock wasteful? This was recorded after the LiveFeed Seasonal webinar titled Improving feed for stock going into winter, with Neil James, Agriculture Victoria. Gaye was unable to make the webinar for its live version.

Transcript

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Gaye Krebs: Hello everyone I’m so sorry I couldn’t make the meeting last week it was those pesky kangaroos jumping into cars, and so the question was is feeding too much protein to livestock wasteful, in short, yes it is wasteful.

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Gaye Krebs: Because it when you feed excess protein.

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Gaye Krebs: It takes additional energy to break down that protein to excrete it so that’s therefore wasting energy so, and if you decrease energy availability to your animals.

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Gaye Krebs: That will have a slight impact on how the performance of your livestock so it’s wasteful it’s also a wasteful in terms of money, but.

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Gaye Krebs: Hopefully we can talk about it in another session is when you’re talking about protein there’s two different sorts of protein that we feed to animals there’s protein that’s broken down in the rumen.

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Gaye Krebs: And then there’s protein that avoids degradation in the rumen, which is a stomach of the animal.

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Gaye Krebs: And instead it’s broken down and absorbed in the small intestine you get the greatest response in terms of production to feeding a diet that has more protein that escapes degradation in the rumen, and so.

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Gaye Krebs: that’s an important consideration,

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Gaye Krebs: And then I also had another question about feeding lupins to pregnant ewes, now the nutrition pregnant ewes the nutritional requirements of the animal goes up, of course, in late pregnancy.

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Gaye Krebs: And more so, depending on if they’re twin bearing or triple bearing ewes so providing lupins has some of this rumen undegradable protein it’s a nice safe grain to feed because it doesn’t contain as much starch.

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Gaye Krebs: But it’s still a great source of energy for sheep so depending on your feed availability and what you dry matter availability is to your pregnant ewes, particularly if you ever have problems with pregnancy toxaemia in your ewes.

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Gaye Krebs: lupins can be a safe seed to feed in terms of increasing the energy intake of your ewes, but to me, lupins is always a great.

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Gaye Krebs: feed supplement, for your weaners, because they have really high protein requirements so So yes, feeling too much protein is wasteful.

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Gaye Krebs: If you’ve got concerns about pregnancy toxaemia in any of your ewes in late gestation in late pregnancy.

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Gaye Krebs: And a nice mix of cereal grains and lupins is a good mix to feed your us because feeding lupins are safer than feeding cereal grains and I’m hopefully going to be a lot more of these sessions in the future so that I can.

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Gaye Krebs: Talk to you and answer more of your questions.