Feeding alfalfa vs grass

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T Diamond

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Our cattle (5 head) are corraled up due to us not having pasture. We feed a heifer feed/barley ration to the 3 breeding cows (1 cow and 2 heifers) plus alfalfa. The show steer gets a show ration along with alfalfa. Grass hay is hard to get in our area. The breeders are not very fleshy, their hip bones stick out and they look all drawn up. They have shade , their coats are shiny, and they are very playful when turned out. The breeders get about 20-30# of grain daily plus about 15-20# of hay. Any suggestions on getting some weight on the girls ?
Thanks
 

rockridgecattle

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can you post some pictures?
What is the grain closer to 20 or 30. And is that for all three?
What about the hay? Is that for all three 15-20 for all three can that be increased? Do you have enough hay?
Where are you from and what is your climate like?
What is the hay like in the form of protien and TDN?
 

randiliana

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Well if they aren't gaining and/or FAT on 20 to 30 lbs of grain, I think you have problems. That is basically a finishing ration!! Our cows and bred heifers do not get any grain whatsoever, they graze for the summer and get good quality hay for the winter. Alfalfa is our hay of choice for the winter here.

Take a look at this link, and tell us what BCS (body condition score) they are. Having them in the 5-7 range is ideal. 7 is a little fat and 5 is a little thin, but anything much over or under is where you really run into problems.

http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/beef/400-795/photos1-9.html
 

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