Feeding Beef Cows over winter

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Anonymous

I would like to hear some new thoughts on feeding my 50 beef cows over winter. I have been feeding hay for last 2 years, and I have not been pleased with the quality I have purchased. I have used a little corn, but dont know how to control it. When I feed in bunks larger healthy cows get more than small cows. I supplement with Pro lix and salt and mag blocks. How many lbs of corn do I give each cow? Is it different for corn gluten? I am feeding for 150 days, and am looking to do things right and save money. This is a new farm to me, and I am looking foward to cutting my own hay. I am in Ky.
 
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Anonymous

I have been using liquid feed for the last two winters. The cows free feed when they want it. When I first started using it, they ate it up fast but now seem to eat from one to two pounds a day. My cows are breeding back much sooner now. The liquid feed contains about 32% protien.

Hope this helps ..
 
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Anonymous

Other then those that were heifers this past calving season, they really don't need all that high of protein. Energy they need. Corn and corn gluten are totally different deals. Corn is starch and if fed too heavily will screw up the rumen microbes required to process forage. CG is considered a by-pass protein is is processed in the colon rather then the rumen. It won;t screw up the forage bugs. Now the fun part. There is no cut and dried method of feeding or feeds for that matter that will work for everyone. It kind of gets to be a "eye of the herdsman" type of thing. When feeding hay, if you use round bale feeders, bunks, whatever, you will need around 3 times as many holes as you have cows. That allows the timid eaters to still get their share. The bossy types can't gaurd all the holes. If using round bale feed rings, several of them well sperated fromeach other will do the job, but you still need more holes then cows. We feed various hays throughout the winter. Some fescue, some orchard grass, some wheat, some a mixture of misc. grasses. Most have at least some clover. The ladies get about 1/2 - 1 lb of 13% grain a day. Most days anyway. It doesn;t do much, but it gets them all in one spot where we can look them over and see if there are any problems or concerns. When the hay is running in the 6-7% protein bracket, we'll up that to maybe 2 lbs a day, or feed straight corn gluten at about 1 pound a day. Some animals have a palatability problem with corn gluten. We have several that if it's more then 1/2 CG they wont touch it. More of the "eye of the herdsman" thing. You want them gaining throughout the winter, but not getting fat.

dun

> I would like to hear some new
> thoughts on feeding my 50 beef
> cows over winter. I have been
> feeding hay for last 2 years, and
> I have not been pleased with the
> quality I have purchased. I have
> used a little corn, but dont know
> how to control it. When I feed in
> bunks larger healthy cows get more
> than small cows. I supplement with
> Pro lix and salt and mag blocks.
> How many lbs of corn do I give
> each cow? Is it different for corn
> gluten? I am feeding for 150 days,
> and am looking to do things right
> and save money. This is a new farm
> to me, and I am looking foward to
> cutting my own hay. I am in Ky.
 
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A

Anonymous

As is par for the course, Dun has given you some good advise. I very much agree with the concept of having many more "slots" or bunks, troughs, or whatever, so that the boss cows can't dominate too much over the timid cows, smaller heifers, etc.

Also, in my view 150 days is too long to be feeding hay. We don't have much fescue in my part of the country but there is some "stockpiling" of other forages and, based on my reading, it seems that fescue is about the most commonly used forage in many parts of the country for "stockpiling". As I recall, fescue is common in Ky., isn't it? I think you should get with the local ag folks and learn what you can about stockpiling forage late in the summer so that you can cut down on hay feeding --- saves time and money --- let the cows become your cutter/rake/baler for as much of the feeding season as possible.

If you feed round bales be sure to get hay rings to avoid much of the waste. Give proper attention to storage methods and options for round bales in order to minimize hay losses. Don't over feed. Shelter from rain, snow, wind helps too.
 
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A

Anonymous

Drought and over stocking have contributed to many folks having to feed hay for long periods. We used to start feeding hay in october, then september last year it was early august. This year we have so much grass we'll only have to feed hay when snow is on the ground and covering the grass. We probably won't utilize all we have. But we still put up a couple of hundred bales for those snow times. With any luck come march we will be able to sell some of what we have left over. Fescue does stockpile well, but it takes planning and fertilizing in the august time frame. That's if the soil is properly amended in the first place.

dun

> As is par for the course, Dun has
> given you some good advise. I very
> much agree with the concept of
> having many more "slots"
> or bunks, troughs, or whatever, so
> that the boss cows can't dominate
> too much over the timid cows,
> smaller heifers, etc.

> Also, in my view 150 days is too
> long to be feeding hay. We don't
> have much fescue in my part of the
> country but there is some
> "stockpiling" of other
> forages and, based on my reading,
> it seems that fescue is about the
> most commonly used forage in many
> parts of the country for
> "stockpiling". As I
> recall, fescue is common in Ky.,
> isn't it? I think you should get
> with the local ag folks and learn
> what you can about stockpiling
> forage late in the summer so that
> you can cut down on hay feeding
> --- saves time and money --- let
> the cows become your
> cutter/rake/baler for as much of
> the feeding season as possible.

> If you feed round bales be sure to
> get hay rings to avoid much of the
> waste. Give proper attention to
> storage methods and options for
> round bales in order to minimize
> hay losses. Don't over feed.
> Shelter from rain, snow, wind
> helps too.
 

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