Importance of Energy in Cattle Nutrition

6 December, 2020 By:SB Group

Right nutrition keeps animals healthy. They required nutrients like protein, energy, minerals, and vitamins for proper body function. Energy is one of the important components in cattle nutrition. After protein, energy should make a larger portion of cattle nutrition.

Carbohydrates, protein, and fat together form energy in the body, and carbohydrate is the most important for energy formation. Energy should cover a larger portion of cattle nutrition, and they will need all the major nutrients to generate energy. So ensure that you include the right quantity of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in cattle nutrition to help them generate energy in the body.

Energy nutrition for cattle

Energy nutrition for cattle

Forages are a great source of energy in cattle nutrition. Though forage is a nutritious diet, they may lack some of the nutrition in the body. Most cattle can have a protein deficiency, however very few will have energy deficiency. In the case of energy deficiency, you need to provide a supplement to meet the nutrition requirement of cattle.

Importance of energy in cattle nutrition

Energy is required for several functioning in the body. Without adequate energy in the body, important organs will not function properly, bones and tissue will not grow, and the mammary gland does not produce milk. Adding energy to cattle nutrition aids in the overall function of the body. Therefore adequate nutrition is essential for various organs to operate.


Cattle require energy for the proper function of the body. The energy that cattle get from the feed is important for maintenance processes like breathing, excretion, digestion, and for the production process. If the cattle don’t receive adequate energy from the feed, they may show the sign of energy deficiency like weight loss, loss of condition, poor growth, and reproductive function. Therefore farmers involved in the husbandry business should take proper care of energy content in nutrition.

Cattle Maintenance

Cattle Maintenance

Cattle are less likely to have energy deficiency. However, young and old cattle may lack energy, and you might have to provide energy supplements to maintain the nutrition requirement level in cattle.


The primary factor for growth is the energy available in the body. The effect of energy intake in young cattle can aid in proper development and growth, which is why if young cattle are not getting enough energy nutrition from the feed, they should be provided with supplements.  Cattle growth depends on the multiplication of cells within the bone, muscles, fat, organ, and tissues.

Energy acts like fuel for the formation of cells and the function of an organ. Energy is necessary for the synthesis of hormones that stimulate cells and the growth of tissue. Ensure to include energy in young cattle nutrition for healthy growth.


Energy is also required for the immune system to work. Animals that lack energy can easily be infected by diseases. If your cattle are often getting sick, you can assume that they lack nutrients. However, you need to talk with a vet if your cattle are getting sick often. The vet can assist you with energy status and help you determine the success of vaccination programs. Cattle should have adequate energy status for optimal vaccine response.

Some cattle need regular vaccination to stay healthy and productive. So it’s always better to get advice from an expert to keep cattle productive.


Energy nutrition is necessary for lactating cattle. The Cells within the mammary gland require energy to produce milk. Energy is also a key factor for synthesizing milk, fat, protein, and lactose. You can take special care of lactating cattle by separating them from other cattle. When you keep them in a separate shelter, you also need to get equipment as well.

Cattle Lactation

Cattle Lactation

Cattle can mobilize energy reserves to support milk production if energy intake is deficient.


Energy is the primary nutritional consideration for the reproductive performance of cattle. If you want to take care of reproductive cattle, you can look after them by keeping them in separate shelters as well. Consult with a vet or expert to add energy supplements to the cattle diet. Reproductive cattle will need energy nutrition more compare to other cattle. So, it’s better to take care of reproductive cattle by separating them from the rest of the cattle.

You also need to get a vet for reproductive cattle. Reproductive cattle will need to feed with nutrient value, and they might also need regular vaccination to stay healthy.


During gestation, cattle have to consume high energy to meet her nutrient requirement and has to support the development of pregnancy. The demand for energy increases immediately prior to calving because of the increase in milk production. As gestation cattle are unable to generate enough energy, they need to be provided with an adequate amount of energy to maintain their health.

Although gestation cattle are unable to consume more energy, they are able to provide the required amount of energy to the placenta by mobilizing their energy reserve. When cattle mobilize a substantial amount of energy reserve during late gestation, they may experience calving complications, greater postpartum interval, and health problems.

Energy nutrition to cattle

As forages do not always meet nutrition requirement, protein and energy supplement has to be provided to cattle. Energy supplements can also be used as a substitute when forage availability is inadequate. You may replace forage with corn to increase nutrition in cattle. However, this practice can be expensive as forage can be much cheaper than buying a supplement. The most common energy nutrition sources are corn, sorghum, barley, wheat.

Energy supplements often decrease forage intake. Typically, forage intake decreases when grains supplemented above 0.5% of body weight and fat sources exceed 3% of the diet dry matter. There are many factors that have to be considered when giving a supplement to cattle. Some factors that you need to consider are nutrient content, shipping, and storage.

While providing supplementing feed to cattle, you don’t have to give them daily. Instead, you can provide an energy supplement once or thrice a week. However, the number of supplements can vary depending upon various factors like the age of cattle.

Energy is required for all body functions. Without the right ratio of energy in cattle nutrition, it will affect cattle growth, cattle health, reproduction, and lactation. You will need a well-planned energy supplementation program to maintain cattle at an adequate level of nutrition.