Beef cattle can consume roughage of both low and high quality, including pasture forage, hay, silage, maize fodder, straw and by-products of grains. Cattle can also consume non-protein nitrogen in the form of urea and diuretic feed supplements – which can supply from one-third or even one-half of all their protein needs.
Non protein nitrogen is relatively easy to get and is abundant and is usually fed in a grain ration or in liquid supplements with molasses and phosphoric acid or is mixed with silage during ensiling time; it also may be used in supplement blocks for range cattle or as part of range pellets. Other additions to diet include maize, sorghum, wheat, barley or oats. Fattening cattle are usually fed from 2.2 to 3.0 percent of their live weight per day, depending on the amount of concentrates in the ration and the rate at which they are being fattened.