The effect of two methods of supplementation of phosphorus to young beef steers on Rooigras Veld
Niemann, P.A.; Van Schalkwyk, A.
S African Jour Agric Sci 6(1): 31-39
The methods compared were as follows: Six steers received mono-sodium phosphate in their drinking water at a concentration of approximately 1 g P per gallon. Six steers were dosed twice a week, at regular intervals with ordinary bone meal. Each steer received 6 ounces per dosage, supplying an average of 4.78 grams P per steer per day. Six steers served as a control receiving no P supplement. These steers were 18 months old at the start of the experiments and they were kept a year in each replication. It appears that beef steers at this age received enough P from the pasture during summer to enable them to build up sufficient reserves for the prevention of all symptoms of deficiency during other periods of scarcity. Furthermore the significantly better growth and wintering of the mono-sodium phosphate group may apparently be ascribed, to: (a) The effect of mono-sodium phosphate to induce higher stock salt intake and the appetizing effect thereof. (b) A high P intake of this group during spring and summer when growth of the steers was at its highest. (c) More handling of cattle in the other 2 groups than in the mono-sodium phosphate group. Water consumption of the latter group was 27% higher in summer than in winter. The figure for autumn was even higher, namely 47% more than the average figure in winter. Average water consumption was 3.9 gallons per steer per day in six replications with a standard error of the mean of 0.2.