NIS in Beef Finishing Diets
The final stage of finishing beef is usually referred to as the ‘finishing stage’. The objective of the finishing stage is to build up the amount of muscles on the skeleton grown in the previous ‘growing stages’.
The most common way of doing this is to offer the animals a diet which is high in starch, and along-side it, offer ad-lib straw to provide forage fibre to maintain rumen health. The common problem with this is that because straw is relatively indigestible it is difficult to maximise starch intakes with-out causing health problems, furthermore, as straw in relatively indigestible, any straw that is eaten reduces potential dry matter intake and does not yield much energy.
Usually fibre is added to the diet in the form of non-forage fibre, however, forage fibre is known to be twice as effective as non-forage fibre at maintaining rumen function in high starch situations. Including NIS in the diet is a way of increasing the quantity of digestible fibre in the diet without reducing dry matter intakes.
Please follow this link to read about the two beef finishing trials carried out at Harper Adams.