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Feed Requirements for Mature Beef Cows

Feed requirements for mature beef cows are based on the stage of production, their weight, and the milking ability of the cows.
Table 8. Daily Feed Requirements for Mature Beef Cows (click on image to enlarge)

Table 8. Daily Feed Requirements for Mature Beef Cows (click on image to enlarge)

This table illustrates how the feed requirements for a cow may change based on these issues.

The results in table 8 indicate mature beef cows have a fairly low protein requirement relative to body weight, and the energy requirement changes rapidly after calving. Secondly, the data show forages can make up the largest percentage of the diet and will generally meet the needs of the cows. Lower quality forages will need to be supplemented with energy sources during periods of peak requirements such as at calving.  The data from Table 8 should serve as a guide for the feed requirements, but body condition of the cows should be an important determination of what ration to provide.  Thinner cows can be improved by adding energy sources to the ration, while cows in adequate or excessive body condition may use 100% hay diets.