Nutrient composition of feeds

In planning a supplementary feeding program and choosing feeds or combinations of feeds it is important to know the nutrient composition of those feeds so that nutritional requirements for target animals can be met.

Energy requirements are expressed as megajoules (MJ) of metabolizable energy (ME). If a shortfall in daily requirements is known then from the table below it can be determined how much feed is required to correct the energy shortfall. For more information see Nutrient requirements of beef cattle.

Protein, calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) requirements are expressed as grams per day. From the table below it can be determined how much protein a feed is supplying. For example, 100g of cottonseed meal (37% CP) supplies 37g of crude protein (CP).

Nutrient composition of feeds used as supplements (as fed basis)

Product Dry matter % ME (MJ ME/kg) CP % Bypass protein % Ca % P %
Cottonseed meal 90 9.8 37 43 0.18 1.16
Soybean meal 90 11.0 45 35 0.24 0.84
Sunflower meal 89 8.0 32 26 0.38 0.93
Barley 89 11.3 12 27 0.07 0.34
Corn 88 10.8 8 52 0.18 0.28
Oats 89 9.1 9 20 0.13 0.32
Sorghum 88 10.6 10 57 0.04 0.32
Wheat 89 10.7 12 22 0.09 0.27
Copra Meal 90 10.8 21 56 0.00 0.45
Peanut Meal 90 10.8 41 16 0.11 0.65
Whole cottonseed 91 13.1 21 30 0.15 0.67
Lupins 91 10.1 30 35 0.18 0.27
Chick peas 91 10.0 20 22 0.05 0.04
Mung beans 90 0.1 25 23 0.09 0.22
Faba beans 89 10.7 24 20 0.10 0.50
Cotton hulls 91 5.2 4.0 30 0.10 0.10
Sunflower hulls 90 4.5 4.0 30 0.30 0.14
Molasses 75 8.7 4.3 Nil 0.89 0.05
Urea 100 Nil 287 Nil Nil Nil

 

The protein percentage is calculated by multiplying the nitrogen (N) per cent by 6.25. Urea has 287% crude protein: 46% nitrogen multiplied by 6.25 which equals 287% protein. Gran-Am® contains 20% nitrogen or 126% protein.

See also Product labels – what are they saying?

You can find more information on the nutritional composition of feeds and calculate and compare protein, energy and other components for different mixes of livestock feeds using the Feed cost calculator | NSW Department of Primary Industries.