Livestock Feed Rations are Integral to Making Champions at Home 

livestock feed rations

Livestock Feed Rations

Ask anyone who shows livestock what the hardest part is to get one ready, and the answers will likely vary. Some might say breaking an animal to lead or drive. Others might say working hair and skin. Yet other livestock exhibitors will tell you that having one dialed in on show day is the key to making it to the backdrop. 

No matter the species or the endpoint, all good show livestock needs to start with good genetics. Then, you need to optimize those genetics with a quality nutrition program. That’s where a quality livestock feed ration comes in. 

Sure Champ® Can Boost Your Livestock Feed Rations 

At Sure Champ®, we are passionate about our own show livestock projects. We tie up young calves, rinse, work hair, and break them to lead. We haul goats and lambs across the country to shows and sales and spend countless hours walking pigs back and forth in our grassy backyards. The Sure Champ team is made up of people just like you.

We understand the hours of time and dedication that it takes to get an animal ready. For each species and each animal, livestock feed rations are an important part of ensuring that your animal looks like a champion at every show.

Making sure that your animal receives a balanced ration of the nutrients it needs is important to its growth and success. 

What is a Livestock Feed Ration?  

If you are just getting started with your livestock project, you might not be sure what a livestock feed ration is, and that is ok. We’re here to help you decipher that. A feed ration is a mixture of different feedstuffs that you mix together to feed an animal during one feeding time. For show livestock, you typically would feed two times a day, approximately 12 hours apart.  

The great thing about livestock feed rations is that no two have to be created the same way. For instance, you are not going to feed your senior yearling, fleshy heifer the same as you would your steer. Just like you wouldn’t feed a lamb and a pig the same diet. However, livestock feed rations are comprised of many of the same nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. 

There are also many supplements on the market that you might want to add to your ration. Remember that ruminants also depend on forages in their diets to aid in digestion, and all animals require water, the most essential nutrient. 

Setting up your Show Livestock Feed Ration 

You will want to customize each ration for each animal you are feeding based on the animal’s weight, endpoint goal and body type and condition. 

Each ration should contain protein, carbohydrates or energy, fat sources, a vitamin and mineral premix – sometimes found in a supplement like Sure Champ Cattle, fiber, and any additional supplements that you might want to add for digestive health, hair, skin or hoof health. 

When creating your ration, balance the energy (carbs) to ensure that the feed provides enough energy without causing excessive weight gain or unwanted fat deposition on your animal.  

Make sure the ration you feed your livestock is highly palatable to ensure consistent intake. You don’t enjoy eating food that doesn’t taste good and neither do your show livestock. Furthermore, be sure to use high-quality ingredients to ensure nutrients are easily digestible and absorbable. You’ve already invested in quality genetics. Don’t skimp on nutrition. 

Finally, maintain a consistent feeding schedule and avoid sudden changes to prevent digestive upset. If you do make changes to a ration, do so gradually to keep your animals eating and gaining. Having an animal go off feed is one of the biggest challenges that show livestock feeders face. 

Components of a Livestock Feed Ration 

A well-balanced show livestock feed ration is essential for promoting optimal growth, muscle development, coat condition and overall health. The right combination of nutrition and effort can lead to improved show performance and ultimately earn you a place in the winner’s circle. Let’s take a closer look into the specific nutrients in a show livestock feed ration. 


Amino acids are essential for muscle development and repair. Key amino acids include lysine, methionine and threonine. 


  • Soybean meal 
  • Cottonseed meal 
  • Fish meal 
  • Alfalfa 


Some feeders refer to carbohydrates as energy. Carbs provide the energy necessary for growth, activity and overall metabolism. 


  • Corn 
  • Barley 
  • Oats 
  • Wheat 
  • Other grains 


Essential fatty acids are important for energy, coat condition, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. 


  • Vegetable oils 
  • Animal fats 
  • Flaxseed 


Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are essential for animal health, growth, and development. They play a role in many systems, including metabolism, the immune response and the development of bones, muscles and skin. 

  • Vitamin A: Important for vision, immune function, and reproduction. 
  • Vitamin D: Crucial for calcium absorption and bone development. 
  • Vitamin E: Acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function. 
  • B Vitamins: Important for energy metabolism and overall health. 
  • Vitamin K: Essential for blood clotting and bone health. 


Macrominerals are essential for bone development and nerve and muscle function. They include: 

  • Calcium 
  • Phosphorus 
  • Magnesium 
  • Sodium 
  • Potassium 
  • Sulfur 
  • Chlorine 

Microminerals, also known as trace minerals, are vital for enzyme function, immune health, and overall metabolism. Trace minerals include: 

  • Zinc 
  • Copper 
  • Selenium 
  • Manganese 
  • Iodine 
  • Cobalt 


Fiber is essential for digestive health, especially in ruminants. Additionally, it is important for maintaining healthy digestion and preventing digestive issues. 


  • Beet pulp 
  • Alfalfa 
  • Other forages 


Although not exactly part of a livestock feed ration, water is the most essential nutrient you can provide your show livestock or any animal. It is essential to ensure your animals remain hydrated for all bodily functions, including digestion, nutrient absorption and temperature regulation. 

Be sure your livestock have access to clean, fresh, cool water throughout the day. If you tie your cattle in during the day, be sure to offer them water several times during the day. 

Additives & Supplements 

A variety of supplements and additives exist to help livestock feeders and exhibitors add to their experience and heighten the performance of their show animal. Supplements are often like tractors or automobiles; there are a variety on the market that provide many of the same functions. Feeders often find a brand they are loyal to and stick with that brand. If you are unsure of a product and its benefits, read the label and then check with an animal nutritionist or with your local veterinarian. 

Prebiotics & Probiotics 

Support gut health and improve nutrient absorption.  

Sure Champ® is a line of products that support the health and well-being of show livestock. This product line is powered by AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility. Sure Champ products help keep your animal healthy and perform by enhancing the digestive system. Since we know that 70% of the immune response is found in the gut, if your animal’s digestive system is healthy, the rest of it will also be healthy. 


Aid in the digestion of specific feed components. 


Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance is especially important during periods of stress. 

Growth Promoters 

Sometimes included to enhance growth rates and feed efficiency (note: usage varies based on regulations and ethical considerations). 

Specialty Ingredients 

  • Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Promote coat quality and overall health. 
  • Biotin: Supports hoof and coat health. 
  • Choline: Important for liver function and fat metabolism. 

By including these nutrients in the appropriate proportions, livestock can achieve optimal health, performance, and appearance for competitive success. Always consult with a livestock nutritionist or veterinarian to tailor the ration to the specific needs of your animals. 

How Much to Feed? 

One question that is often asked is, “How much should I feed my animal?”

While there is no cookie-cutter answer, you want to design livestock feed rations to help you meet your goals. For market animals, you will want to feed enough to put on adequate weight for your desired endpoint. Breeding animals should be fed to create bloom and stay fresh in their appearance. 

We can’t tell you an exact amount to feed, but we can offer a simple guide. If you are still unsure, check with a local nutritionist or livestock breeder in your area.

Be sure to split the measurements below into two equal feedings, for both morning and evening. 

  • Cattle: 2% to 2.5% of their body weight daily 
  • Sheep: 2 to 3 pounds of feed daily 
  • Goats: 2 to 4 pounds of feed daily  
  • Pigs: 4 to 8 pounds of feed daily 

Prep to Win with Sure Champ 

As we mentioned, our Sure Champ team is passionate about getting our animals dialed in for each show. We understand how to supplement livestock feed rations for optimum results. That’s why we want you to know more about the products we not only make and sell, but also use on our show animals.

Products for Cattle 

Sure Champ Cattle  

Sure Champ Cattle is a pelleted, daily supplement with protein, vitamins and minerals for show livestock designed to support performance. It contains Amaferm, stimulates consistent appetite, and ensures that cattle receive adequate vitamins and minerals.  

Sure Champ Cattle Drench  

Sure Champ Cattle Drench is a drench for cattle designed to support digestive health before, during and after challenges. Formerly known as Vita Charge Cattle Drench, it contains enzymes that generate a more rapid digestive response. It also contains Amaferm and MOS (mannan oligosaccharides), which help normalize gut microflora and support the immune system.  

Products for all Species 

Sure Champ® Extreme with ClariFly®   

Sure Champ Extreme with ClariFlyis a pelleted, daily supplement for show livestock with Clarifly designed to support hoof health, hair coat, and performance when temperatures are above 70 degrees. Designed for all species, it contains Amaferm and MOS to help normalize gut microflora and support the immune system. It also contains HEAT technology, a combination of essential oils and garlic, as well as ClariFly to support animals when heat and insects are a challenge.  

Sure Champ® Liquid Boost® 

Sure Champ Liquid Boost is a liquid for all livestock designed to provide immediate support to the animal’s digestive and immune systems. Formerly known as Vita Charge Liquid Boost, it contains both Amaferm and MOS, and it contains flavoring to help drive the intake of feed or water.  

Sure Champ® Appetite Plus Gel  

Sure Champ Appetite Plus Gel is a gel for all livestock designed to provide immediate support to the animal’s digestive and immune systems. Formerly known as Vita Charge Gel, it contains both Amaferm and MOS and works fast to support appetite and hydration. 

Sure Champ® Climate Control Gel  

Sure Champ Climate Control Gel is a gel for all livestock designed to support digestive health and recovery when temperatures are above 70 degrees. Formerly known as Vita Charge Climate Control, this gel contains Amaferm and HEAT technology, a combination of essential oils, to support animals when heat is a challenge. It promotes appetite and water intake.  

Sure Champ® Clench Gel  

Sure Champ Clench Gel is a gel for all livestock designed to support normal digestive function during occasional diarrhea/scours. Formerly known as Vita Charge Clench Gel, it includes Amaferm and MOS, and it contains electrolytes to support rehydration.  

Sure Champ® Joint Juice  

Sure Champ Joint Juice is a liquid product for livestock designed to support joint health utilizing patented technology. Joint Juice contains MHB3®, a patented high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid. It lubricates joints and supports mobility and soundness.  

Make your Champions at Home  

Perfecting your livestock feed rations is a continual process. As your animals grow and progress, so will your ration. Optimizing your genetics with a quality ration fueled with Sure Champ is a great way to keep your animals eating, drinking, and performing.   

You can get your Sure Champ products as easily as ordering online today.   

Do you prefer to support a local Sure Champ dealer? Find a dealer near you to find all your favorite Sure Champ and other BioZyme products.   

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