Cows in Hayfield

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Well-known member
Jan 11, 2016
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East Tennessee
Does anyone do a quick rotation on their hayfield after cuts to clean it up? Or just wait until hay is finished for the year?

Our baler left a little here and there. Not enough to justify raking IMO. To prevent spots from being smothered out i thought about turning them in for a day or two if it stays dry. Maybe clean up the fence line and around trees/rocks. And get the cut grass cleaned up maybe?

Only con i can think of would be poop piles. But they're decomposing pretty quick right now and are thin.

I'm hesitant...
We only get one cutting but we graze the cows in the hay fields in the fall for a couple of weeks. Unless your baler left a whole lot of junk laying around the grass should just poke through it with no problems. I'm talking KY31 fescue, but I would think about any decent and strong grass would do the same.
You would have to have missed an awful lot of hay to make it worthwhile of fencing a hay field. If the fences are already there and its just a matter of opening a gate, go for it. But mine would be more interested in the green in the corners and edges, than scattered bits of hay.
It is permanently fenced. This is about a 15 acre field. It would be an all at once thing.

After much thought, i suppose the traffic would cause more damage than any good they could do. I do think they would graze the regrowth instead of clear the uncut part. So will probably just wait.

There is one possible downside. If the cows get in there once they'll want to go back, so they might be more likely to break in if you don't have good fences.
no don't graze it right after a cutting, worst thing I see people do. they do it all the time in ky.
I was just reading up on grazing annual rye and they say not to graze any one section for longer than 3 days so they don't start eating the regrowth as the plant users the energy stored in the roots for the initial growth until the new leaves can photosynthesis and replenish the root store. There is only enough stored to adequately supply one lot of regrowth at a time.

Bright Raven":e52xpy1x said:
ddd75":e52xpy1x said:
no don't graze it right after a cutting, worst thing I see people do. they do it all the time in ky.

I don't graze mine until fall.

thats what I do as well.

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