Protein supplementation for young beef cattle on maize silage ensiled with or without urea:
Maize silage ensiled with 1% urea was compared to silage without urea by feeding it ad lib. to weaner heifers for a period of 157 days prior to slaughter. On each type of silage three groups of ten heifers were given a daily supplement per animal of 0 g, 200 g or 400 g of a protein concentrate (equal parts of fish meal and groundnut oilcake meal). All animals received 1 kg maize meal per day. Approximately half the nitrogen supplied through urea could not be recovered from the silage. With the exception of the difference between the two groups receiving no protein concentrates, no significant improvement of daily live weight gain was observed in favour of the urea containing silage. The highest live weight gains were recorded for the two groups receiving 400 g protein concentrate. The best financial returns were obtained from the two groups receiving 200 g protein mixture and the group on control silage receiving 400 g protein concentrates.