Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



24th Range Beef Symposium, Nov. 17-19, 2015, Loveland, Colo.


Copyright 2015 K. C. Olson.


A wide and ever-changing variety of feedstuffs are available and potentially useful as supplements for beef cows. Choosing the most appropriate feedstuff to use at any point in time will influence a cow’s nutritional and performance responses. It will also influence the overall cost of the feeding program for the cow herd. Considering that feed is the largest variable cost for virtually every cow-calf operation, using the most appropriate source of nutrients at least cost for the nutrient(s) required will provide the “best bang for the buck”. Understanding the role of key nutrients in a given feedstuff relative to the nutrients needed is instrumental to assuring effectiveness of a supplement. Of equal importance is putting a value on the key nutrients in available feedstuffs to determine the most cost effective alternative.