Anyone use grass seed hay to feed cows?

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dressageophobia

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We have alot of grass seed growers in the Pacific NW, hence alot of the hay when they are done harvesting the seed. Any opinions on the use to feed cows?
 

dun

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When we combine fescue we cut it high. Low wnough to get the seed but high enough that there is a lot of stem and all of the leave is left. It's not the highest quality hay, but in early winter we feed it and the cows do fine on it. A couple of months before calving we'll switch over to a better qaulity hay or feed a protein supplement. Cows calve and clean and the calves are vigorous and grow well.
 

Dave

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The blue grass and bent grass makes pretty good hay. The rye grass is OK but needs some supplement. All of the fescue straw I have seen is pretty coarse and rank. A lot of it is being exported but there is still lots available. The one problem is most of it is baled in big squares which are a little difficult for many people to handle. I see adds for bluegrass straw at $80 a ton.
 
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dressageophobia

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Around here it is about $85 a ton, in smaller bales. I was looking for a low quality coarse hay. Just wanted to check what you thought. Thank you for helping out!!
 

mnmtranching

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I noticed all the grass seed in the Eugene area :shock:

We have kids out there. I wondered the same thing. Is the straw used for cattle feed?
 

novatech

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Nothing wrong with it. The quatity of the hay will usually be pretty low so you will need to suplement.
This is the reason most hay grasses are cut just before they go into seed production. Most of the food value is in the leaf. When a plant goes into makeing seed they become very stemmy and sometimes the leaves will wilt and fall. This will leave you with very stemmy hay of very low quality.
 

Swarm

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Be very careful about endophyte. Most of the Ryegrass and Tall Fescue grown in the Willammette Valley is for turf seed so be very careful.
 

ENNOT

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Yeah, you need to be careful that fescue straw is endophyte free, but bluegrass is fine. Bluegrass straw is really pretty good feed. You need a little alfalfa or protein supplement, but cattle really like bluegrass. We have seen them sort through and eat it before the better quality hay.
 

Swarm

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Of the tall fescue grown in Oregon, most is turf type and contains endophyte. Bluegrass is all endophyte free but very little is grown in the Willamette Valley.
 

Susie David

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Fed some bluegrass last year and he cows tolerated it but went for the alfafa when given a choice. They would wait for the alfalfa even when there was bluegrass available....spoiled I guess. Dmc
 

Bobg

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I've fed bluegrass straw in the past and the cows always cleaned it up. I now pick up grass seed straw for nothing from the Plant Material Center in Pullman and feed it. It's more bedding as it sits in the field for quite a while before they bail it. There have been a few years where I'm real short on good hay that it's made up 75% of what I feed.

Bobg
 

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