If the season permits, bulls are grown on grass
until early winter when they go onto a silage based ration as
preparation for sale. This ration generally consists of about
75% silage, 20% grain, 2% feedlot concentrate (that we make
ourselves) and 3% vegetable protein meal (cottonseed meal or soya
bean meal). Because we don't sell through a sale-ring we do
not enter a 'feeding competition' and we aim to produce ethically
grown, structurally sound bulls around 850kg at two year old.
When protein levels drop in winter pastures we
will often supply our breeders ad-lib access to a dry lick that we
make on farm. This lick is based on copra meal, an outstanding
source of bypass protein, and also contains urea and six other
ingredients with salt as the intake inhibitor. With
consumption targeted at 2.1kg/hd/week, this lick improves appetite
and rumen function and significantly reduces the winter weight loss
of breeders until the first feed flush in spring or summer.
When brought in for yard weaning, our weaners are
fed either a dry ration based on our home-grown lucerne hay, or, if
the silage bunks are open, a wet ration based on silage and
vegetable protein meal.