Livestock Feed

Nurturing livestock with excellence for three generations


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Integrity Feed

Dr. Bray's Corner

Feeding Advice

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Q: What should I feed my pigs? How much should I feed them?

It is always better to feed two pigs at a time than feeding one by themself. They will compete and eat better.

We suggest feeding a pigs Starter feed when they are 25-75 lbs. They should consume about 1½ to 3 lbs. per day. At 75lbs they should slowly switch to Pig Grower and they should consume about 3-6 lbs. per day.

When the pig weighs around 175 lbs., you should decide if you want a leaner or heavier pig. For leaner pigs, continue to use Pig Grower but increase the amount to 6-8 lbs. per day. For heavier pigs, switch to Pig Finisher when they reach 175 lbs. They can continue this diet until they are at butcher weight.

Q: What should I feed my calf?

Newborn calves need to get a good start on nutrition. This requires colostrum supplied by the cow, preferably for the first 48 hours of life. Continue feeding the calf milk replacer until they are 8-12 weeks old. Feed a Calf Starter ration starting at 2 weeks in small amounts in addition to the milk replacer. Do not feed hay at this time because the stomach is not fully developed.

Feed the Calf Starter ration until 12 weeks. Then slowly switch the feed to Beef Builder or Ultimate Beef Grower. Beef Builder should be served along with a good forage source, clean water, and salt until they are butcher size. If using the ultimate Beef Grower, you can switch to Finisher at 900 lbs.

Q: What is the difference between organic and non-GMO feed?

Feed labeled “organic” must meet very specific requirements. Organic plants are required to be grown with natural fertilizers and without pesticides or hormones, among other things. Livestock that is organic must be fed organic feed and not be given animal byproducts, antibiotics or hormones.

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have had their DNA altered to increase resistance to herbicides, improve nutritional content, or a variety of other reasons. Most GMO foods are plants such as corn, canola or soybean. Non-GMO feed is made by grains that have not been genetically altered, but may have been treated with pesticides.

Non-GMO Feed is not necessarily organic, but organic feed is always non-GMO.

Q: What is the shelf life of feed?

Every bag or tag has an expiration date that displays the shelf life. If it is a feed containing molasses such as 4 Way Mix, the shelf life is about 3 months. It is important to check the stamp on the bag or tag for expiration dates.

Q: How should I store the feed?

The feed should be stored in a cool, dry place. Always inspect feed prior to use for bugs, mold, or other abnormalities.

Q: What are probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are added to the feed which enhance the healthy flora or bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract. This “good bacteria” improves the intestinal balance of microbes while inhibiting the growth of “bad bacteria.” Probiotics work similar to the live cultures found in yogurt.

Prebiotics are soluble fibers that encourage the growth of “good bacteria” in the stomach. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not bacteria.

Q: What does the Guaranteed Analysis (GA) tell me?

Required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the Guaranteed Analysis provides a product’s nutritional content. This valuable information assists pet owners, retailers, and veterinarians with making decisions about product selection and feeding amounts.

Star Milling uses Alltech’s products for both prebiotic and probiotic microorganisms.

Q: How do I read a tag?

It’s easy to compare two different livestock feeds, right? Take a look at the tags. If the nutrients listed are the same percentage, then shouldn’t the feeds be pretty much the same? Well, not exactly.

In reality, the amount of information listed on a feed tag is very minimal. Feed tags do not mention the quality of the ingredients that go into making a feed. Quality is important for digestibility of the feed and overall health of the animal.

The most important component on a feed tag may be the brand listed. Knowing that the feed is made by a company with the resources to produce the right feed is the best assurance of quality. Star Milling’s Ph.D. nutritionists formulate every feed we sell to ensure we’re using the highest quality ingredients available. They don’t just look at individual nutrients. They look at the nutritional profile of each ingredient and what they provide for growth, performance, and overall health. We consider how all nutrients interact—because too much of a good thing can cause problems.

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