The success to any suckler calf-to-weanling or indeed finishing system, will be maximising performance from excellent quality grass. As the year moves on grass quality begins to decline, the key to maintaining performance with your calves or weanlings is the quality of feed being fed in conjunction with the grass.
The Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pellet is a high energy, 16% crude protein ration which contains soyabean meal as one of its protein sources. The Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pellet extremely energy dense, utilising barley and maize as its energy sources. It also has added yeast to aid in maintaining optimum rumen function to drive performance, and finally, it contains a high-spec mineral package to ensure the mineral demands of the weanling are met.
A weanling’s response to concentrates when paired with good quality grazed grass can be as high as a 4:1, i.e., for every 4kg concentrate input = 1kg body weight output.
During 2020, Lakeland Agri carried out a 72-day trial on the farm of Paddy Boyle, to examine the daily liveweight gain of stock being fed a high quality 16% coarse weanling ration versus stock being fed on the Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pellet.
‘’The group of cattle fed on the Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pellet performed superbly. When compared to coarse ration, the pellet was very clean with no wastage,’’
says Paddy who farms on a part-time basis outside Maudabawn, Co. Cavan. Paddy runs a suckler to weanling system consisting of commercial stock and pedigree limousin cattle. His pedigree suckler cows calve in both an autumn and spring calving system, leaving Paddy with a mixture of strong bulls to sell at 16/18 months and younger calves to sell at weaning. The commercial cattle calve in the springtime and the offspring are generally sold at 10 months of age prior to the housing season.
All animals were weighed at the start, midway point and at the end of the trial. Both groups were creep fed while still suckling their dam and received 4.5kg/day of the high quality coarse weanling ration or the Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pellet. Grassland management was similar throughout the trial for both groups.
At the end of the trial, the group on the high quality 16% coarse weanling ration gained an average of 86.1kg, or an average of 1.19kg/day. Whereas the group on the Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pellet gained an average of 92.8kg, or 1.29kg/day. This translated to an improved performance of 0.10kg/day, or an additional 6.7kg weight gained across the trial period. This is equivalent to an increase of over 8% daily liveweight gain across the trial period.
‘’I will definitely use the Lakeland Agri Super Weanling Pelletagain, and highly recommend it to other farmers looking to improve the efficiency of their weanling feeding system.’’