Revised October 2005

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G2051, Feed Ingredient Composition for Beef Cattle

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Feed Ingredient Composition for Beef Cattle

K.C. Olson
Division of Animal Sciences

It is essential to know feedstuff nutrient content in order to properly formulate beef cattle diets. This publication provides estimates of the nutrient composition of feedstuffs that are used commonly in Missouri. Estimates presented in PDF table are adapted from Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, seventh revised edition, (National Research Council, 2000). Readers are reminded that the true nutrient content of feedstuffs varies. Tabular nutrient values such as those depicted in this publication should not be interpreted as guarantees of nutritional value. They are to serve only as guides when comparing the relative value of feedstuffs. They should not be used to replace compositional analysis of feedstuffs or quality control procedures. Readers are directed to pay close attention to the units of measure for individual nutrient analyses. When comparing feedstuffs, make sure that the units of measure are the same. Nutrient analyses in relation to feedstuff cost are not the only means by which to compare the economic value of feedstuffs. Some feedstuffs have intrinsic value as sources of fiber, sources of oil, mixing agents, or flavoring agents that are not reflected by nutrient analyses.

Measuring scrotal circumference
 

This publication uses abbreviations to refer to specific nutrients or chemical components of feedstuffs. All abbreviations are defined as follows:

  • DM
    Dry matter = the moisture-free portion of a feedstuff
  • TDN
    Total digestible nutrients = the adjusted sum of digestible protein, fat, and nitrogen-free extract contained in a feedstuff
  • NEm
    Net energy for maintenance = a measure of the efficiency with which metabolizable energy is used for maintenance
  • NEg
    Net energy for gain = a measure of the efficiency with which metabolizable energy is used for tissue growth
  • CP
    Crude protein = the percentage of nitrogen in a feedstuff multiplied by 6.25
  • RDP
    Ruminally degradable protein = the proportion of CP that is available for degradation by ruminal microbes
  • NDF
    Neutral detergent fiber = a functional measurement of the cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin in a feedstuff
  • eNDF
    Effective neutral detergent fiber = the proportion of NDF that provides ruminal health-sustaining plant fiber to the diet
  • Mcal
    Megacalorie = 1000 kilocalories = a unit of measurement of dietary energy
  • IU
    International unit = a pharmaceutical unit of measurement
  • ppm
    Parts per million = a unit of measurement that is equivalent to milligrams per kilogram

Many of the feedstuffs listed in this publication are byproducts of grain or oilseed milling. Nutrient composition of these types of feedstuffs typically varies over time and between dealers. This is particularly true of mineral values. Purchasers of byproduct feedstuffs are encouraged to request guaranteed analyses from feed dealers or to submit a representative sample for compositional analysis to a reputable nutrition laboratory.

G2051, revised October 2005


G2051 Feed Ingredient Composition for Beef Cattle | University of Missouri Extension