Key risks of transitioning onto brassicas
- Time is needed (up to 10-14 days) for sheep, cattle and deer to transition from pasture to brassica crops
- Livestock learning to graze a new type of feed takes time
- The rumen needs time (up to 14 days) to change from a pasture based fermentation to one best able to effectively digest brassicas
- Cattle need extra care during transition; they are more likely than sheep to have bloat and/or rumen acidosis challenges
- The first 14 days on brassica crops is when most animal health challenges occur
Once fully transitioned onto brassica crop, livestock should continue to receive at least 20% of the diet as high fibre supplements. Feed no more than 35% of the diet on a dry matter basis as brassica crop for lactating dairy cows, due to risk of brassica milk taint.
Transitioning = gradual increase in percentage of brassica crop in the diet