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.