Cattle Feed

Feed Hay Now to Allow Pastures to Recover

Feed hay in the fall and save the new green grass for winter is a plan that can result in more feed for drought-stressed cow herds. University of Missouri Extension specialists urge continued feeding of hay to allow pastures to rebuild root reserves to prepare grass for strong growth next spring.

“It’s tempting to turn cows onto new fall growth when rains return after a drought,” says Rob Kallenbach, MU forage specialist.

There’s another reason to hold off, says Justin Sexten, MU beef nutritionist. Cows will need high-quality grass when winter brings wet and cold weather. The grass growing this fall can be stockpiled in pastures for winter grazing.

A Guide to Forages and Pasture-Feeding

Forage (pasture, silage, hay) is the most natural feed for cattle. Ruminants do very well on forage but don’t grow quite as fast or get fat as quickly as when they are fed grain. Many young cattle are finished in feedlots on grain to save time and total feed. If grain-feeding can take an animal to slaughter readiness before going through another winter (on hay), it can be cheaper. But pasture is the most abundant and cheapest feed for other cattle.
 

The following is an excerpt from Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle (Storey Publishing, 2009). This best-selling classic provides health, handling, feeding and breeding advice to anyone raising beef cattle.

Limit Grazing for Cow Herds

Assuming more rainfall comes to the Southern Plains states in the weeks ahead, wheat pasture is likely to be a key source of protein and energy for cow herds by late November and early December.
    Nathan Anderson, Payne County Oklahoma Extension director and agricultural educator, said limited grazing of wheat pasture has proven to be one of the most efficient approaches for using this high-quality forage with mature beef cows.

“The protein requirements of a dry cow can be met by allowing her to graze on wheat pasture for one day and returning her to dry pasture grass or hay for the subsequent two days to three days,” he said. “A pattern of one day on wheat and one day off should meet the protein needs of the same cow after calving.”

Feed Hay Now to Allow Pastures to Recover

Feed hay in the fall and save the new green grass for winter is a plan that can result in more feed for drought-stressed cow herds. University of Missouri Extension specialists urge continued feeding of hay to allow pastures to rebuild root reserves to prepare grass for strong growth next spring.

“It’s tempting to turn cows onto new fall growth when rains return after a drought,” says Rob Kallenbach, MU forage specialist.

There’s another reason to hold off, says Justin Sexten, MU beef nutritionist. Cows will need high-quality grass when winter brings wet and cold weather. The grass growing this fall can be stockpiled in pastures for winter grazing.

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Breeding For Improved Feed Efficiency

Breeding for feed efficiency can save $55/ cow/ year in feed costs, said Dr. John Basarab, University of Alberta, at the British Cattle Breeders Conference 2012, highlighting the importance of feed efficiency.  Feed efficiency is crucial, Dr. Basarab said, when you consider that 50-70 percent of production costs, whether it be for the cow-calf herd or in the feedlot are associated with feeding. In fact two thirds of the energy that cows consume is used only on maintenance.


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Ridley Inc.

 Protein and mineral supplements for livestock and wildlife.

Central Feed Service Inc.

Animal feed, wildlife mix, bird seed.

Cereal Byproducts

Cereal by-products consisting mostly of offal from the milling of oats for human consumption, hominy feed from the milling of corn, alfalfa meal, ingredients to the mixers that produced finished feed

Kent Nutrition Group Inc.

The Kent Nutrition Group was created to better serve the evolving needs of specific customer segments and the animals they own. By focusing the feed division on commercial livestock productivity and country lifestyle animals, and pet products on companion animals,

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