Is Grass Enough or Should I Supplement?

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Forage provides as much as 70% of the ration - but what’s in it?

When you buy feeds and supplements, your first question is likely to be, “what’s in it?”

ewe hayThe manufacturer’s label or leaflet should provide the full nutritional formulation including the percentage protein content, minerals and trace elements. However, the grass, silage or hay you feed as a mainstay, and which can account for over 70% of the animals daily ration, has no label or leaflet showing its nutritional content. This means that the majority of the animal’s diet is fed on guesswork.

The simple and affordable way to take the guesswork out of feeding forage is to have a full analysis carried out. The report of this analysis will give you a comprehensive nutritional breakdown of your forage that can guide your decision about which feeds and supplements you should be feeding alongside your forage.

How do I get an analysis done?

We send you a sample kit and clear instructions of how to take a sample of your forage (grass, hay, silage or whole crop). You then send it in the postage-paid envelope to an independent laboratory. Once we receive the results of the analysis from the lab, we’ll prepare a full written report (in plain English!) of exactly what nutrients are, and which aren’t, available to your livestock. We can then either email our report directly to you, or, if you need a more in-depth explanation of the results, we’ll come to your farm and go through the results. Then we’ll recommend the best supplementation options that will enable your livestock to achieve their full potential.

What do the results tell me?

Firstly you’ll get a complete breakdown of the feed value of the forage, as well as a complete mineral and trace elements break down. This will highlight any possible shortages, or “lock-ups”, created by antagonists in the forage. For example, copper can be locked–up by molybdenum, causing ‘swayback’ and osteoporosis in lambs.

How much does this cost?

This service costs about £35 per sample and the results will enable you to ‘fine-tune’ your feeding and supplementation. Not only can this result in improved performance in your livestock, but also enable significant savings by avoiding unnecessary supplementation.

How do I find out more?

For more information and advice contact Chris Williams at Clinwil Nutrition Services

Telephone: 01568 708708

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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