Territory Stories

Alice Springs Rural Review



Alice Springs Rural Review


Northern Territory. Department of Resources


Alice Springs Rural Review; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Alice Springs Rural Review




Alice Springs


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Includes : Pastoral Market Update November 2010; Arid Zone Research Institute; AZRI, Alice Springs




Agriculture; Alice Springs Region; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Alice Springs Rural Review


V 44 (9-12) December 2010

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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ALICE SPRINGS RURAL REVIEW, Page 7 of 20 PEG has no effect Preliminary findings from the PEG pen trial Sally Leigo, Pastoral Extension Officer, Alice Springs The eight week PEG pen trial has now wrapped up and the process of finalising all of the results is being undertaken. Before presenting the results we have to date, here is a bit of background to how the project approached supplementing cattle with PEG. Background PEG stands for Poly-Ethylene Glycol (PEG) and is synthetic (or manmade) compound that is used in a range of pharmaceutical (eg. laxatives), cosmetic (eg. shampoos, skin cream) and chemical products (eg. green wood stabiliser, lubricants). Most importantly, PEG dissolves in water, which made it very easy to administer to the cattle in the trial. For the purpose of the trial we had ten head of one year old Droughtmaster heifers, who were daughters of the same sire, with an average weight of 290kg at the start of the trial. Each animal was housed in individual sheltered pens and half were supplemented with PEG (PEG Group) while the other half were not (Control group). The cattle were weighed weekly for the entire eight weeks to monitor their live-weight. In the final two weeks of the trial a more intensive phase of data collection was undertaken, where the following was monitored: Feed intake Feed refusal Faecal output We also collected numerous samples: Faecal samples to look for any changes in nitrogen absorption Mulga samples to look at nutrient and tannin levels Hay samples to look at nutrient levels Blood samples to analyse for blood urea and phosphorus levels It was decided that PEG 4000 which is the most common among the various ruminant supplements available would be used and was sourced from a supplier in Queensland. The costs were $5.50/kg excluding transport or $7.40/kg with transport. How we supplemented with PEG for the trial The aim was for the cattle being supplemented with PEG to receive 212g PEG/head/day. This ration was mixed in with water at a ratio of 212g PEG:30L water or 7g PEG:1L water. For the first six weeks of the trial this intake was not achieved as individual water intake was lower than expected, due to cooler weather and the cattle being penned and not exercising at they would in a paddock. Water intake during this period varied from 2L 15L/head/day resulting in a PEG supplement intake of 14g 105g/day. For the final two weeks of the project to increase intake we drenched the cattle daily with a PEG solution. Each animal received 600ml of solution containing 200g of PEG. Pen #2 tucking into her freshly plucked mulga