28 March 1997



SERIOUS consideration should be given to offering concentrates to beef animals on autumn pasture as an alternative to finishing inside on silage and concentrates.

Observations come from M J Drennan, A P Moloney, E G ORiordan and M McGee, Grange Research Centre, Co Meath, Ireland, based on trials studying the effects of concentrates on the performance of heifers finishing on autumn grass

In two trials, 17-months-old Charolais cross heifers were used in a 78 or 90-day finishing study. Treatments were pasture only, pasture and a barley-based supplement, pasture and a beet pulp-based supplement and grass silage and a barley supplement.

Average daily concentrate intake was 3.3kg and 3.7kg for pastured stock and the supplement significantly increased both liveweight and carcass weight gains.

Housed heifers had a higher liveweight gain but the difference in carcass weight was not significant.