Methionine Supplement Now For Pasture Cattle

Novus ALIMET finding more use in pastures these days.

Adding ALIMET feed supplement from Novus International to the diets of cow-calf herds supplies rumen-bypass methionine which cattle need, plus aiding rumen efficiency.

Without supplementation, cattle on grass are deficient of methionine, an amino acid. When methionine is lacking, growth and performance are limited – and cow-calf producers are missing profit potential. This results in improved weaning weights and cows that breed back quicker: double the benefits of traditional, protected methionine supplementation.

ALIMET has only recently begun to be used on pasture, says Stephanie Gable, global marketing manager with Novus.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins or lean tissue growth. Cattle need many different amino acids to grow and optimize performance. If just one important amino acid is lacking, overall performance will be limited. For cattle on pasture or a grass diet the first limiting amino acid is methionine.

Cows supplemented with ALIMET will also produce more milk with higher quality, without loss in body condition, Gable says. By delivering methionine to the rumen, ALIMET increases microbial production and efficiency – allowing cattle to utilize feedstuffs better.

"With improved milk fat yield, milk protein yield and milk production, cows can raise calves that are heavier at weaning," says Gable. "Improving milk production without hurting the cows' longevity contributes to the long-term profitability of herds. ALIMET boosts performance in every part of a cow-calf operation: growing calves, backgrounders, replacement heifers and the cow herd."

Supplementing with the right methionine source can also set up backgrounder or feedlot calves for better performance, Gable says.

Among growing cattle with high-forage diets supplemented with ALIMET, producers have reported a 0.2 pound per day increase in average daily gain. For a steer or heifer on grass for three months, that increase can equate to 18 extra pounds. ALIMET supplementation for weaned heifers means better reproductive development, as well.

Matt Hersom, extension beef cattle specialist with the University of Florida, adds: "With ... heifers, we increased average daily gain early on, without adding extra protein to their diet. Relying on corn protein for a methionine source would increase the crude protein percentage of the feed, which would have a negative effect on breeding. By supplementing with ALIMET instead, we enhanced the amino acid profile and saw a numerical increase in reproductive tract scores."

Hersom supplemented the calves with a molasses slurry that consisted of  56.22% molasses/urea, 25.15% molasses, 18% corn and 0.63% ALIMET on an as-fed basis. The molasses slurry was limit-fed to supply 2.1 kg dry matter per day and cattle were allowed ad libitum access to Bermuda grass hay.

ALIMET is a liquid but is also available in a dry form as MFP feed supplement. The two forms provide flexibility in integrating methionine supplementation into individual operations through mineral, creep and background feeding programs.

For information contact your nutritionist or a Novus representative or visit: www.novusint.com/beef.

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