How to Buy Cattle Feed

Cattle require unlimited fresh, clean water and some type of grass hay daily. Add supplements if your animals' nutritional needs are not adequately met.


  • Step 1: Determine nutritional needs Determine the specific nutritional needs of your cattle.
  • TIP: Test the forage The U.S. National Research Council tabulates nutritional requirements for beef cattle. Steers, heifers, and calves all have different requirements.
  • Step 2: Test the forage Have a forage test performed to determine the nutritional value of the available feedstuffs. Your county agricultural office can help with this.
  • Step 3: Compare the results Compare the results of the forage test with the nutritional requirements of your cattle.
  • Step 4: Evaluate supplement needs Determine which supplements are needed to make up for any nutrient deficit.
  • TIP: Purchase supplements Consult a nutritionist for guidance if you are not used to doing this.
  • Step 5: Purchase supplements Purchase the feed supplements required to balance the cattle's rations. Look forward to a healthy herd.
  • FACT: Cattle may consume up to 2.5 percent of their body weight in food on a daily basis.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • Grass hay
  • Nutritional requirements
  • Forage test
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Tabulated nutritional requirements (optional)
  • Nutritionist (optional)

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