The value of maize silage as a supplement for grazing beef cattle has been investigated in experiments worldwide. When fed with protein and minerals, maize silage can support liveweight gains of 1kg/day or higher. It can also sustain high liveweight gains when fed in combination with pasture. Supplementation with maize silage can achieve a significant increase in stocking rate, while maintaining a similar liveweight gain per head.
Beef products not only need to consider production/ha but also production/head, when finishing animals to market specifications.
High forage intakes are essential to sustain high liveweight gains when finishing housed cattle. This can be achieved by either increasing the maize allowance or by increasing the level of concentrate.
Advantages of using Maize silage over grass silage for beef farming:
- Increase in dry matter intake
- Improvement in kill out %
- Carcase weight increase 1.5% (8kgs)
- 31 days shorter finishing period
- Practical benefit of firmer dung on maize diets, help to save straw bedding
- More content and relaxed cattle