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Starting Safely with Urea

The rumen microbes are the ones that we need to keep happy in order to avoid a poisoning event so by starting low and increasing slowly, we allow them to adjust their population accordingly so that they can convert urea to Nitrogen safely in the rumen which avoids flooding the blood stream with ammonia = urea poisoning.

As the name may suggest, Top Start is the supplement to safely start your supplementation program! With a 5% urea inclusion, this dry lick is a safe starting point for the majority of livestock classes. The guide that we use to determine the ?safety?۝ of a lick is by following the safe urea consumptions guide of 10g of urea to 100kg live weight. Now of course there are a number of factors that can contribute to urea poisoning and this is intended as a guide only!

Along with cattle live weight, the daily consumption is quite possibly the most important factor when determining a safe urea inclusion.

At Top Country we aim for consumptions of around 300g/head/day on our dry season licks, including Top Start. This consumption rate is the point where the cost of the supplement and the weight gain achieved by the supplement meet at maximum supplementation efficiency.

If we refer to our safe urea model then livestock being supplemented Top Start with a 300g daily intake will be consuming around 15g of urea per day. If 10g to 100kg live weight is the ?safe model?۝ then Top Start is considered safe for livestock that weigh 150kg and above.

Safe Urea Model

This is why monitoring consumptions is so important, because if the dry lick intake is 400g/day then the urea consumption is 20g/head/day which means that Top Start becomes ?safe?۝ only for livestock that weigh 200kg and above. The opposite of course applies for lower consumption rates, which is why the calves that occasionally nibble their mothers?۪ lick are okay, because they would only be consuming a very small amount.

If you are unsure about your livestock?۪s consumptions or would like to talk about how to safely start your supplementation program, please call one of Top Country?۪s consulting nutritionists today!

The table below is intended as a guide for safe urea consumptions when the dry lick intake is 300g/head/day.

Lick

Urea content (%)

Grams of urea consumed per day if lick is consumed at 300g/day.

Minimum safe weight (kg)

Start

5

15

150

Season

10

30

300

Link

15

45

450

Graze

20

60

600

Pro

25

75

750

Breeder

30

90

900

Author: Elsie Dodd

Tags: Body Condition Score, Supplements Healthy rumen toxicities liveweightr safe levels urea rumen microbes

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