Composition of Feedstuffs


Note: The figures listed on this Web page are averages. Feed compositions are dependent on many factors, so they are highly variable!


Forage Quality

The quality of any forage is affected by three main points. These points affect the forages' digestibility and thus, the animals' intake. Forage color and leafiness can be observed for a quick quality test, while ADF and NDF can be tested to predict the forage's digestibility and intake level, respectively.

Legumes

Legumes are highly palatable, highly digestible, and very nutritious. They can be fed with lower quality feeds to balance a ewe's diet for her current production phase, etc.

Legume Composition:

Grass Hays

Grass hays are not as palatable to sheep as legumes. They have lower protein, phosphorus, and calcium contents, so they cannot be used to correct deficiencies of these items in diets.

Common Grass Hays:

Grass Hay Composition:

Haylage

Haylage is usually made from alfalfa-brome forage. Its value in relation to hay is determined by when it is cut and its moisture content. It is important to be aware of the percent DM of haylage as changes in this percentage cause major fluctuations in the energy content of the feed.

Haylage Composition:

Corn Silage

Corn silage is an under-utilized feed because of its labor requirements and because, if it is harvested poorly, it can harbor lysteria, which is the bacteria that causes listerosis (circling disease). However, corn silage does produce more energy per acre and more sheep can be maintained utilizing corn silage than any other harvested feed. Corn silage is deficient in protein, calcium, and phosphorus during lactation, so it should be supplemented with alfalfa.

Corn Silage Composition:

Corn Stover

Corn stover is the stalks and leaves left after the corn has been combined.

Corn Stover Composition:

Corn Stover Positives:

Corn Stover Negatives:

By-Products

Beet Pulp Composition:

Beet Molasses Composition:

Sunflower Hulls Composition:

Wheat Bran Composition:

Protein Supplements

Soybean Meal Composition:

Linseed Meal Composition:

Sunflower Meal Composition:

Urea

Urea is the main source of non-protein nitrogen used to balance ruminant rations. It can be mixed at the farm, but producers usually prefer to buy it as part of a commercial supplement containing vitamins A and D and minerals.

Mineral Supplements

Calcium and phosphorous are the major components of bonemeal and dicalcium phosphate (dical). Bonemeal contains 24% calcium and 12% phosphorus; dical contains 25% calcium and 18.5% phosphorus. When only phosphate is needed, sodium phosphate (22% phosphorus and no calcium) can be utilized. When only calcium is needed, limestone (38% calcium and no phosphorus) can be added. As these supplements are not palatable, they should be mixed with a salt.



Sheep Feeds

Feed Average
Dry Matter
Content
%
On 90% Dry Matter Basis
Energy Protein Fiber
%
Calcium
%
Phosphorus
%
Vitamin A
equivalent
I.U./lb.
TDN
%
DE
Mcal
Total
%
Grains Oats 88 69.3 1.39 12.0 11.2 .10 .34
Corn 88 78.3 1.57 9.0 2.1 .02 .31 500
Barley 88 77.4 1.55 12.2 5.0 .08 .41
Wheat 90 78.3 1.57 14.4 2.7 .05 .37
Rye 90 76.5 1.53 12.4 2.0 .06 .34
Sorghum 90 79.2 1.58 11.2 2.0 .04 .32
By-products Beet pulp 90 65 1.30 9.0 18.8 .68 .10
Beet molasses 77 68 1.36 7.6 .16 .03
Cane molasses 75 66 1.32 5.2 .89 .08
Wheat bran 90 64 1.28 15.4 10.1 .14 1.18
Feed Average
Dry Matter
Content
%
On 90% Dry Matter Basis
Energy Protein Fiber
%
Calcium
%
Phosphorus
%
Vitamin A
equivalent
I.U./lb.
TDN
%
DE
Mcal
Total
%
Protein
supplements
Soybean meal 90 79.2 1.50 44.8 6.0 .32 .68
Linseed meal 90 71.6 1.43 34.5 8.9 .40 .82
Brewers grains 90 63.0 1.26 26.5 14.7 .26 .49
Cottonseed meal 90 63.9 1.38 40.7 11.9 .15 1.18
Sunflower meal 90 68.4 1.37 46.3 11.4 .41 .91
Roughages Hay—alfalfa 88 51.3 1.02 15.4 27.8 1.20 .20 7,500
     timothy 88 49.0 .98 8.2 29.8 .36 .17 4,000
     bromegrass 88 49.0 .98 8.7 30.4 .35 .18 3,000
     orchard grass 88 49.0 .98 10.1 31.0 .40 .22 7,500
     canary grass 88 49.0 .98 9.4 31.7 .30 .22 7,500
     aslike clover 88 51.0 1.02 13.2 26.5 1.20 .22 25,000
     red clover 88 51.0 1.02 14.4 26.5 1.30 .20 8,000
Feed Average
Dry Matter
Content
%
On 90% Dry Matter Basis
Energy Protein Fiber
%
Calcium
%
Phosphorus
%
Vitamin A
equivalent
I.U./lb.
TDN
%
DE
Mcal
Total
%
Alfalfa-brome haylage 46 50.0 1.00 14.4 31.0 .54 .18 18,000
Corn silage 40 63.0 1.26 7.3 22.0 .24 .18
Corn stover 88 50.0 1.00 5.6 33.4 .44 .08




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This Web page was created by Sarah Elizabeth Adams and was last updated on April 19, 1999.