Supplements for winter pastures in the Everglades

Material Information

Supplements for winter pastures in the Everglades
Series Title:
Everglades Station Mimeo Report
Chapman, H. L ( Herbert L. ), 1923-
Crockett, J. R ( Joe Richard ), 1926-
Everglades Experiment Station
Place of Publication:
Belle Glade Fla
Everglades Experiment Station
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
3 leaves. : ; 29 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Pastures -- Florida -- Everglades ( lcsh )
Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida -- Everglades ( lcsh )
The Everglades ( local )
Molasses ( jstor )
Beef cattle ( jstor )
Pastures ( jstor )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
"March 1, 1957."
Statement of Responsibility:
H. L. Chapman and J. R. crockett

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
64684137 ( OCLC )


This item has the following downloads:

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Everglades Station Mimeo Report 57-12 March 1, 1957



H. L. Chapman, Jr. and J. R, Crockettl/

The term "supplement" is defined by Webster's dictionary as meaning "to
supply that which is lacking" or "that which supplies a want". When this is
applied to supplemental feeding of beef cattle on pasture it means to supply
those nutrients which may be lacking in pasture forages.

Studies conducted at the Range Cattle Station and the Main Station in
Gainesville have conclusively demonstrated protein to be the most limiting
nutrient in Florida for both growing and fattening cattle in the state as a

Permanent pastures in the Everglades which do not grow adequately due
to an inadequate fertilization program, cold weather or over-grazing of pas-
ture by beef cattle may fail to provide necessary protein and it may be
necessary to provide supplemental protein to assure maximum rate of gain, feed
efficiency and reproduction performance of cattle.

However, analytical records kept over a period of several years at the
Everglades Experiment Station indicate that crude protein is not lacking in
the growing pasture forages commonly used for beef cattle. This infers that a
well fertilized pasture which has not been over-grazed or affected by cold
weather will not be deficient in crude protein. It is felt at the present
time that the limiting factor in beef cattle in the Everglades during a 60-
to 90-day period in the vdnter time may be a lack of energy rather than pro-
tein. In order that pastures of decreased quality may be utilized to the
fullest it may be necessary to furnish supplemental energy feed to beef cattle.

The purpose of the experiments reported herein was to determine the value
of providing mature beef cows energy during winter months in the form of
supplemental molasses and to study the value of furnishing beef cattle extra-
roughage during these months in the form of grass silage.

The experiments concerning molasses supplementation were conducted during
the winters of 1954-55 and 1955-56. The results of these two years of study
are summarized in Table 1. It can be seen from this table that cattle receiv-
ing extra energy feed during the winter months had both a higher reproduction
rate and less average daily weight loss than did the animals receiving no
supplemental feed,

Apparently if cattle have been provided a mineral mixture which has been
designed to meet the nutritional needs there need be no concern regarding
forced feeding of mineral during the time that molasses is fed. However, if
cattle have not been provided adequate mineral mixture and if the body stores --
of phosphorus are low prior to being fed the supplemental molasses it is ver^ \-'L
important that a mineral mixture containing sufficient phosphorus be proi -

1/ Assistant Animal Nutritionist and Herdsman, respectively, Universi f fW
Florida, Everglades Experiment Station, Belle CGade, Florida \


those animals. This should be emphasized since mineral consumption may radical-
ly decrease during the period that the beef animals are provided supplemental

Table 1, Summarization of value of molasses supplementation for Beef Cow
Studies, 1994-55 and 1955-56.

1 2 3 4

19h5-55 (92 days)
Kind of Molasses 3% Urea Straight Strnight 0

Acres of pasture 20 20 161/ 161/
Av. No. Mature Animals 31 25 26 26
Av, Init, Cow Wt.(lbs.) 929 902 1013 1001
Av. Daily Cow wt. change(lbs.) -0,48 -0,25 -Oo25 -0o62
Reproduction rate (%)2/ 76.6 65.2 62-5 52,0
Av. Weaning Wt. of calves 445 434 h49 477
Av, Molasses consumption/cow/day 10.2 131 86 ---

1955-56 (82 days)
0 Mol, Mol.1/ c/

Acres of Pasture 16 20 20 16
Ave No. Mature Animals 24 28.5 23 1965
Av, Init. Cow wt.(lbs,) 878 1CO0 91L 930
Av, Daily Cow wt, change(lbs,) -0.33 01 0. 05 -.016
Reproduction rate (%)2 73.9 85~,1 90,9 63.1
Av, Weaning wt, of calves(lbse) L13 h6) 4LT5 45
Av, Molasses consunption/cow/day --- i 86 --

l/ Supplemental grazing furnished
SRate of conception during this period.

The results of the 1955-56 experiment studying the value of grass silage
for breeding cows are shown in Table 2, Grass silage did not produce consistent
decreases in weight losses or increases in the average weight of calves weaned
However, there was a definite indication that the extra roughaige intake did have
a favorable effect upon the reproduction rate of the cows4 as indicated by
uterine palpation.

Table 2. Summarization of silage supplementation for beef cows, 1955-56

Kind of Silage




No. of days fed 82 85 68 84
Acres of Pasture 32 20 20 20
Number Animals 43o5 30 29 30
Av, daily cow rwt. change(lbs.) -0o24 -0.66 -0407 -0,56
Reproduction rate(%) 68 79 89 83
Av. wt. of calves weaned(lbs,) 431 431 421 117

During the winter of 1956-57 an experiment was conducted to determine the
value of feeding mature cows cane molasses and Roselawn St. Augustine grass
silage, both alone and together. The preliminary results of this experiment
are presented in Table 3. There was less average weight loss by animals receiv-
ing the molasses or silage than by the animals on pasture alone. The least
average weight loss was experienced by the cows receiving both molasses and

Table 3. Summarization of molasses and silage supplementation for beef cows
1956-57. ($6 days)
Treatment 0 Molasses St.Augustino St.Augustine
Silage Silage

Acres of Pasture 16 20 56 16
Kind of Pasture St.Aug. St*Aug% St.Aug Mixture
No.Mature Animals 23 30 79 23
Av. Init. Wt, 883 963 912 823
Av, Wt. Change/cow/day(lbs.) -1.13 -0.70 -0.52 -0.17
Av. Wt. Change/calf/day(lbs.) 1.39 1,69 1.39 1,l4
Molasses cows/head/day(lbs.) -- 6 --- 3*46

How can the cattleman determine the amount of supplemental feed necessary
to provide his cattle? There is no single concentrate or mineral supplement
which can be designed to satisfy the needs of every cattlcnan at any one time,
nor will one supplemental feeding program be satisfactory for a single cattle-
man all of the tinoe However, there are a few generalities which should be k1:j
in mind. Beef cattle require a certain plane of nutrition f-r their naintenlto,
that is, just merely to sustain their weight and provide energy for body func-
tions, If the nutrient intake available to beef cattle is below that necessary
for maintenance there will be a subsequent decrease in the performance in the
beef cattle. In the case of adult breeding cows this will be demonstrated by
losses in body weight, lower milk production and decreased calf production.
When the nutrient intake is in excess of that needed for maintenance there will
be gains in body weight, increased milk production and decreased reproduction
performances by the female stock. It is necessary for the cattleman to first
provide sufficient nutrient intake to maintain his beef cattle and secondly to
determine the most economical rate and method of supplying nutrients to his
cattle in excess of that needed for maintenance purposes.

The supplemental feed may be furnished in the form of temporary winter
pastures, grass or corn silages, sugar cane, citrus or cane molasses or other
supplemental feeds which are balanced nutrient-wise and which have sufficient
total digestible nutrients for both maintenance and the desired rate of per-
formance. Now is the time to consider what kind and how much supplemental feed
will be needed next winter and to determine the most economical and efficient
manner by which it can be provided.


The molasses used in these experiments were furnished through the courtesy
of the United States Sugar Corporation, Clewiston, Florida.

EES 57-12
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