For young cattle, oats is an excellent mixture to feed with barley. Cattle that are by no means mature are adding bone and muscle to their bodies, in which oats as a feed will play an important part. Adding muscle means adding lean meat, which is highly desirable.
In fattening more mature cattle, wheat, or wheat screenings, makes a good addition to barley chop. Screenings can usually be purchased at a price which makes them profitable feed. Wheat, where grown in any quantity, will only be fed when the selling price is low enough to warrant it.
Barley is higher in carbohydrates, but lower in fat, than oats; they are about equal in protein, but oats have more fibre, as the hull is thick and. longer. An average analysis of several samples of oats and barley made by the Dominion Experimental Farms gave the following results: Oats, protein 11.73 per cent.; carbohydrates 60.94 per cent, and fat 4.36 per cent; barley, protein 12.13 per cent, carbohydrates 64.49 per cent, and fat 1.71 per cent. Oats would contain about 10 per cent of fibre and barley about 46 per cent. In the case of wheat it will vary a good deal, but a fair average would be protein 12.4 per cent, carbohydrates 71.2 per cent and fat 2.1 per cent, while wheat screenings would run about, protein 13.3 carbohydrates 61.1, and fat 4.1. Wheat screanings [sic] would contian [sic] about 7.4 per cent of fibre, while wheat would show only about 2.2 per cent. Corn, by way of comparison, will average protein 9.4 per cent, carbohydrates 66.1 percent. and fat 4.7 percent with only about 1.9 per cent of fibre.
Linseed meal will not only provide protein for the development of lean meat, but it will add to the healthfulness, the digestibility, and the palatability of the ration. But pulp, which is a splendid conditioner for feeder cattle acts as a sort of tonic ,and when feeding it the grain ration may be increased as the cattle have good appetites. Beet pulp is low in protein, however, and alfalfa hay, if at all available, should be fed with it. If this can not be secured a small amount of cotton-seed meal would greatly improve the ration for young cattle of this kind. Cottonseed meal would be preferable to linseed meal if fed with beet pulp, as it is not so laxative and is higher in protein.
These analysis are always interesting and form a fairly good guide in feeding, but by no means a positive one. The effects of different kinds of feed upon animals cannot be wholly determined by analysis but must be worked out in actual practice, through which the feeder ﬁnally determines what is best to use. That is what makes it so necessary to experiment with feeds and to study the animals that are being fed. The feeder must have a basis to begin on, gleaned from the experience of others, and then he must determine many things by his own judgment and practice.
We might deal first with the feeding of weaned calves, brought off the range and put up in feed lots to be ﬁnished for the following Spring market. These calves would be six to seven months old, and weigh rom [sic] 350 to 450 lbs. They would be carrying the milk fat from following their mothers, and care should be taken to see that they lose as little as possible in the change to the feed lot.
Calves such 6g these should be conveyed as directly as possible feeding ground. They should be closed in the feed yard and not allowed to wander about and lose flesh.If shut up in reasonably close quarters, the company of the other calves seems to compensate in some respect for the separation from their mothers, and so they fret less.
Abundance of palatable feed, however, will be much greater compensation for them and will keep them going right ahead.
There is no better initial ration for such calves, when ﬁrst shut in than whole oats and good alfalfa or mlxcd clover hay. These calves have been feeding on milk and grass, two of the most easily digested feeds, and they must not have too strong a grain ration to begin with, or their stomachs may be upset. They must also have a nourishing ration, and whole oats seem to be peculiarly adapted to the food requirements of young cattle.
Well cured alfalfa hay is always relished by cattle, and calves will attack it with avidity and so will secure the amount of good, nourishing feed they require when coming off milk and grass. In feeding alfalfa it is a good plan to have some other clover hay to use for every third feed, which keeps the cattle keener for the alfalfa and gives greater variety.
As regards grain feed for calves off the range, the following ratio may be worthy of note:
2 lbs. each of whole oats per day fed in two feed for the first 4 or 5 days.
2 lbs. each of whole oats and 1lb. crushed oats per day, fed in two feeds, for the next 8 or 10 days.
4 lbs. each crushed oats per day, fed in two feeds, until the end of the third week from the commencement of feeding.
Add 1lb. Each of crushed barley or wheat to the fore-going ration for the fourth week and then double the barley or wheat in the feed.
You are now feeding 4 lbs. crushed oats and 2 lbs. either crushed barley or wheat per day to each calf, making a grain ration of 6 lbs. each per day.
At the end of two months the grain ration may be increased to 7 lbs. per day and two weeks later to 8 lbs. per day.
The 8 lbs. of meal would consist of 4 lbs. of oats and 4 lbs. of barley or wheat, fed, o course, [sic] in two feeds of 4 lbs. each
This ration might be later increased by the addition of 2 lbs. more of barley or wheat, making a daily ration of 10 lbs., 4 lbs. of cats and 6 lbs. of barley or wheat. In this case the addition of ground oil cake, as suggested in the following paragraph, would be desirable.
If these calves are fed alfalfa for roughage they will get the necessary protein for young growing animals, but if mixed hay, or green oat sheaves, are used, it would be advisable to add to the foregoing grain ration about 1-2lb. linseed meal when the grain ration reaches 6 lbs. per day and increase it to 1-2 lbs. when the cattle are consuming 8lbs. of meal each per day, and 2 lbs. when 10 lbs. of meal is fed.
– Animal Husbandry, The Charlottetown Guardian. May 8, 1935, p 8.