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Compensatory growth is the "better than expected" growth performance seen in animals following a period of very low weight gain or weight loss when nutrient levels return to sufficient amounts. During a stressful period, an animals maintenance requirements will lower to aid survival which means that their growth efficiency and protein deposition potential increase. When they are given access to a higher quality feed, they experience fantastic compensatory growth. Cattle may experience compensatory gain only for a short period of time before they plateau and grow at similar rates to other stock that did not undergo nutrient restriction.

The Mundubbera area is looking great at the moment. Thanks to the recent rain, and if you believe the long rang weather forecasts it’s not over yet. It is great to see people smiling at the prospect of going into winter with a decent amount of feed. Because of the recent rain events pasture is now growing faster than normal. Your pasture is more than likely to be producing more fibre and lignin than usual as it matures into both stages 3 & 4 plants, limiting intake.

Top Feedas have been protecting supplements for well over 10 years and across Australia, they are giving cattle producers the confidence and ability to introduce protein meals containing performance-boosting slow breakdown microbial protein to their herd. Top Feedas have contributed to achieving stability of consumption which in turn has allowed consistent and efficient production increases.

Protein meals are a valuable base for dry lick supplements and for inclusion in grain rations. Common high quality forms of protein meal are cottonseed meal and copra.

These protein meals provide a portion of bypass protein; this is not degraded in the rumen and passes into the small intestine where it is absorbed and utilised directly by the animal. The portion that is digested in the rumen is degraded over many hours, enabling a prolonged supply of protein (nitrogen) for microbial reproduction. More rumen microbes can then continue to breakdown pastures at a greater rate and over a longer period, hence increasing the animals?۪ overall daily pasture intake. An increase in pasture intake means that more energy and microbial protein become available to the animal.

This principle refers to the nutrient that must be supplied first in order to improve production. The most commonly limiting nutrient in northern Australia is phosphorus, but other minerals such as salt, copper, cobalt and selenium have been identified as deficient in some regions. Commonly presented as Liebig?۪s barrel analogy, the image below demonstrates that the nutrient that is most deficient in the diet must be met before substantial production gains may occur.

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