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Feeding lick on dry feed

Welcome to the first of our monthly newsletters, built to briefly summarise what’s going on in livestock health in the area to keep you best informed. For more details and queries don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • Despite the bulk of dry feed on offer, feed quality on native pasture (and dormant tropicals) is currently VERY POOR. We have multiple feed results with sub 6 MJ ME and 6% CP. Stock on pastures like this will have stacking dry manure and need urea loose lick supplementation to help correct this gross deficiency. Lick is economically justifiable at the moment to maintain production. We like Tony Inder’s PBA Merriwa 8% as a palatable option that stock like even on good black country where consumption can be a challenge.

  • In contrast, good, improved pastures and well ferted cereals are booming and need calcium and magnesium lick and roughage supplementation to maximise production (up to 300g/day better) and reduce hypomag and hypocal disease risks.

  • Some excellent improved pastures are also now so good in terms of soluble carbohydrates, they are comparable to feedlot rations in terms or ME, meaning sub clinical acidosis, aka “pasture acidosis” is a real possibility. Look for loose bubbly manures. Mitigate the risk by offering good quality roughage (cereal straw), especially if headlands are limited.

  • Remember when feeding lick in our scenarios (different from Northern Phosphorus supplementation), lick blocks do not allow adequate intakes; loose is required! Lick feeders are worth the investment to keep lick dry (safety aspect if urea included, and to reduce costly wastage). Welderup have some ready made options.

  • Feed tests are simple, super informative, and have certainly made us feel better about targeted investment in lick or roughage. Free postage paid sample bags (submit yourself, invoice emailed afterwards) can be ordered online (NSW DPI Animal Feed Lab, FeedTest, FeedCentral), or let us know if you need some quickly, we have a supply on hand.

Example all weather sheep and cattle lick feeder


Ungrazed native, tested at 5.5 MJ ME, 6% CP


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