Feeding Cattle

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Anonymous

I have been reading and reading about what, how, how much and when to feed my cattle. Now, how does one know if they are getting enought of this or that? Do you just have to watch and see how much feed, hay, mineral block and what ever elce they eat? Can you just watch their body and get a good idea? I did find this (to me) good site about feeding. l It has a lot of good stuff in it. I am just having a hard time putting it all together. Can somebody put a little light on it for me. There is light at the end of the tunnel? <A HREF="http://ohioline.osu.edu/anr-fact/0002.html" TARGET="_blank">http://ohioline.osu.edu/anr-fact/0002.html</A>
 
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A

Anonymous

Hey! Don't know what type of cattle or in what type of feeding environment you are dealing with. However, in general...cattle are cattle...ok?

Simple stuff first: All cattle should have plenty of clean fresh water and free choice/access to salt and mineral blocks, esp. salt. Also, free choice to roughage (hay, grass, etc.) is important.

We raise registered Texas Longhorns which are better at grazing & forage utilization than other breeds--will eat stuff the "English" and other cross-breeds will pass up.

When pastures are sparse, can "monitor" feeding by feeding small square bales of hay, thereby they will not tromp down and scatter hay nearly as bad as when you feed the large round bales.

We have had good success with maintaining condition with a sparse fall/winter/early spring pasture grass by feeding about a 4" flake of alfalfa hay twice a day per 1000 lb animal unit. Increase hay some when really cold and miserable outside. Also, provide a few range cubes (20% or so protein + other supplements) every day or so.

With our pregnant and mama cows with un-weaned calves, we keep them separate from others (in some cases) and feed a "sweet feed" supplement--2-3 coffee cans (3# size) per 2 x day for added nutrition.

With the longhorns, if their rear end/backbone area begins to become little sunken, then we increase the feed supplements--this can happen within just a few days--so, we can monitor feeding rather easily.

Hope this info. helps a little!

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

If we fed the way you do we'ld be broke. It doesn't do any good to feed a much higher level of nutrition then they need. You keep refering to the LH will eat stuff that others won't. Is this suppsedly a good thing? If the feed value isn't there they can starve with a full belly. Of course the way you feed they could eat newspaper and still thrive. I've got a dog that eats birdseed, don't see it being a beneficial part of her diet.

dun

> Hey! Don't know what type of
> cattle or in what type of feeding
> environment you are dealing with.
> However, in general...cattle are
> cattle...ok?

> Simple stuff first: All cattle
> should have plenty of clean fresh
> water and free choice/access to
> salt and mineral blocks, esp.
> salt. Also, free choice to
> roughage (hay, grass, etc.) is
> important.

> We raise registered Texas
> Longhorns which are better at
> grazing & forage utilization
> than other breeds--will eat stuff
> the "English" and other
> cross-breeds will pass up.

> When pastures are sparse, can
> "monitor" feeding by
> feeding small square bales of hay,
> thereby they will not tromp down
> and scatter hay nearly as bad as
> when you feed the large round
> bales.

> We have had good success with
> maintaining condition with a
> sparse fall/winter/early spring
> pasture grass by feeding about a
> 4" flake of alfalfa hay twice
> a day per 1000 lb animal unit.
> Increase hay some when really cold
> and miserable outside. Also,
> provide a few range cubes (20% or
> so protein + other supplements)
> every day or so.

> With our pregnant and mama cows
> with un-weaned calves, we keep
> them separate from others (in some
> cases) and feed a "sweet
> feed" supplement--2-3 coffee
> cans (3# size) per 2 x day for
> added nutrition.

> With the longhorns, if their rear
> end/backbone area begins to become
> little sunken, then we increase
> the feed supplements--this can
> happen within just a few days--so,
> we can monitor feeding rather
> easily.

> Hope this info. helps a little!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I only have 3 cows, that are going to calve March and April. I just started doing this for hobby. If I make a buck or two, break even or lose a little that will be fine. I am wanting to do this right with may be a little over kill. Heck I am even adding leanto on to the barn so I can get them in when they do have their babys.
 
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A

Anonymous

those comments were directed to thr lonhorns, not you. the site you referenced has good data. one of the things to remember is you can't underfeed a small calf out of a cow, but you can over feed calvong problems in

dun

> I only have 3 cows, that are going
> to calve March and April. I just
> started doing this for hobby. If I
> make a buck or two, break even or
> lose a little that will be fine. I
> am wanting to do this right with
> may be a little over kill. Heck I
> am even adding leanto on to the
> barn so I can get them in when
> they do have their babys.
 
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A

Anonymous

nothing wrong with shelter come calving time, if they'll use it by their own freewill. besides, when the weather is nasty, it's nic to have a place for you to get out of the cold/wet/snow/etc.

dun

> I only have 3 cows, that are going
> to calve March and April. I just
> started doing this for hobby. If I
> make a buck or two, break even or
> lose a little that will be fine. I
> am wanting to do this right with
> may be a little over kill. Heck I
> am even adding leanto on to the
> barn so I can get them in when
> they do have their babys.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Hey Dun! I gather from a lot of your posts that you have a rather large Longhorn operation...I could be wrong though...have been before.

I'm not implying that we Longhorners raise/feed cattle like in a feedlot to fatten up for market. I'm just saying that one needs to watch their condition and supplement feed as needed to maintain that condition--easier to maintain condition than to correct deficiencies.

What Longhorns eat in pasture or range are grasses, plants, tree leaves, etc., that the more finicky "English-type" breeds will pass up. Now if you are running 1,000 or 10,000 head of something, then 10 cents a head a month saved is big bucks and could make the difference between profit and loss. On the other hand, think a lot of Longhorn people are breeding/raising horn and other attributes for improving the critters and hopefully some genetic improvement, without losing sight of the "true" characteristics of Longhorns.

On feeding costs, our "investment" is about 1/2 a 50# bag equivalent of cubes and beef show ration per 10 head (or about .30 cents a day/1000# unit). We are paying an average of about $4.65 a 60-70# bale for horse quality, weed-free alfalfa and supplemental feeding about 2-3 bales/day per 10 - 1000# units when pasture is down and weather is miserable and cold and about 1 bale/day with marginal pasture. Only "extra" feed we do is with pregnant or lactating cow and her calf at side while they are in a separate large pen before integrating with rest of herd.

No...we're probably not making money on stock maintenance, but are turning out some very nice looking calves for future sales. AND, the special treats have made it extremely easy for us to work in halter on our calves and to sort out ONE animal from several at the gate to move to another area--we just call their name, offer special treat, and that ONE animal comes to us (usually).

At this point, our main program is to obtain and maintain and improve our genetic line (selective purchases and culling out certain offspring), keep protein levels good to enhance their already genetically determined horn predisposition, and to provide a middle-of-the-road body style (not too lean, not too fat) that seems to appeal to a large segment of the buyers and those wanting Longhorns for commercial cross-breeding. Our cows are maintained between about 950 and 1150 lbs and not over 1200 lbs.

Hope this info helps some others on messageboard.
(User Above)":qu3b04dj said:

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

we raise commercial cattle, have some registered but they are used in crossbreeding. our mostly british with a little continental cows eat whatever grows, they sure aren't picky eaters. Alfalfa is too high in protein for our animals. they get fat on just pasture and about a quarter pound of grain every few days. that is to get them to come up to the catch pen so they look forward to being in there. we're raising beef not horns. possibly that increases the need for high protien. we've never had a problem selling our heifers into others folk herds. genetics that are correct for our managment and the types of forage around here (endophyte ecfected ky31) seem to always be in demand greater then our supply. we all have priorities, ours aren't flash and glitter, they are sound, long lived, fertile, gentle, moderate framed, easy calving, polled cows that wean calves that weigh over half of the cows/heifers weight on grass (if you can classify ky31 as grass) and maintain there condition. that's the difference between seedstock and commercial

dun

> Hey Dun! I gather from a lot of
> your posts that you have a rather
> large Longhorn operation...I could
> be wrong though...have been
> before.

> I'm not implying that we
> Longhorners raise/feed cattle like
> in a feedlot to fatten up for
> market. I'm just saying that one
> needs to watch their condition and
> supplement feed as needed to
> maintain that condition--easier to
> maintain condition than to correct
> deficiencies.

> What Longhorns eat in pasture or
> range are grasses, plants, tree
> leaves, etc., that the more
> finicky "English-type"
> breeds will pass up. Now if you
> are running 1,000 or 10,000 head
> of something, then 10 cents a head
> a month saved is big bucks and
> could make the difference between
> profit and loss. On the other
> hand, think a lot of Longhorn
> people are breeding/raising horn
> and other attributes for improving
> the critters and hopefully some
> genetic improvement, without
> losing sight of the
> "true" characteristics
> of Longhorns.

> On feeding costs, our
> "investment" is about
> 1/2 a 50# bag equivalent of cubes
> and beef show ration per 10 head
> (or about .30 cents a day/1000#
> unit). We are paying an average of
> about $4.65 a 60-70# bale for
> horse quality, weed-free alfalfa
> and supplemental feeding about 2-3
> bales/day per 10 - 1000# units
> when pasture is down and weather
> is miserable and cold and about 1
> bale/day with marginal pasture.
> Only "extra" feed we do
> is with pregnant or lactating cow
> and her calf at side while they
> are in a separate large pen before
> integrating with rest of herd.

> No...we're probably not making
> money on stock maintenance, but
> are turning out some very nice
> looking calves for future sales.
> AND, the special treats have made
> it extremely easy for us to work
> in halter on our calves and to
> sort out ONE animal from several
> at the gate to move to another
> area--we just call their name,
> offer special treat, and that ONE
> animal comes to us (usually).

> At this point, our main program is
> to obtain and maintain and improve
> our genetic line (selective
> purchases and culling out certain
> offspring), keep protein levels
> good to enhance their already
> genetically determined horn
> predisposition, and to provide a
> middle-of-the-road body style (not
> too lean, not too fat) that seems
> to appeal to a large segment of
> the buyers and those wanting
> Longhorns for commercial
> cross-breeding. Our cows are
> maintained between about 950 and
> 1150 lbs and not over 1200 lbs.

> Hope this info helps some others
> on messageboard.

> :) Bill
 
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A

Anonymous

No offense taken, I am all new to this and need all the help I can get. Thanks!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

you may find this handy

<A HREF="http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/cowculator/" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/cowculator/</A>

dun

> No offense taken, I am all new to
> this and need all the help I can
> get. Thanks!
 
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A

Anonymous

> No offense taken, I am all new to
> this and need all the help I can
> get. Thanks! John while building your lean to for calving, I would suggest making it so that plenty of sunlight can get in to the calving area. Don't build it where its all draft and no sunlight. Once I brought a perfectly healthy momma cow and 3 day old calf into the hall of my barn because of an impending ice storm. Wound up losing the calf,developed pneumonia, cow survived. I blamed it on the drafty hall with no sunlight. I won't do that again, cattle are designed to withstand quite a bit, don't forget that. TSR

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> I only have 3 cows, that are going
> to calve March and April. I just
> started doing this for hobby. If I
> make a buck or two, break even or
> lose a little that will be fine. I
> am wanting to do this right with
> may be a little over kill. Heck I
> am even adding leanto on to the
> barn so I can get them in when
> they do have their babys.

The leanto is thoughtful and with good intentions,but unless you can get them in there right before birthing time and lock them in,your chances of them going in on there on to calf out of the weather are slim to none.99% of the time when cows start to calf they won't away from the rest of the heard and some will go as far as to get in the tallest forage to hide are some of the most hardest places for man to get to and could care less about a shelter regardless how harsh the weather may be.

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

I want to add a comment to the new hobby rancher. I have all kinds of realtives suggesting housing to protect the cows and calves from the weather. I have no such protection.

Last week here in my portion of the Ozarks we had a rapid freeze and then a heavy snow. It was cold and windy and miserable. As I said I have no shelters for my cows. I had two cows give birth each to a healthy bull calf in this weather. Both went out to a far pasture, turned a few circles in a snow drift and dropped the calf. In each case within 45 minutes the calf was up on its feet, Dry, and feeding from momma. Both cows hid their babys in the trees in a nest they made in fallen leaves for about three days. If given the opportunity no cow will bring her newborn to anywhere near the feeding area nor barn area for an average of two days to sometimes a week. Now at a week old the calves are out with their mommas in the pasture learning to eat grass (though they won't bebefit from the nutrition for about a month or so) and all are healthy and happy.

eaglewerks



[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

I was ok with the first two paragraphs of your post. However, I do disagree with some of the other information and comments you made.

First of all, we raise Murray Grey cows. They do well on any forage we provide and DO NOT turn down or pass up food in any form.

All of our hay is fed in either large round feeders or through feeder panels. That solves any waste of feed through tramping or scattering.

We feed no range cubes when feeding good quality alfalfa hay. Our cows do well on straight hay in the winter, and we are at 5700 feet with snowy, windy winters.

I find most of my momma cows average 23# of alfalfa hay per day per cow. The only time we've supplemented with grain, and we use a rolled barley/rolled corn mix, is when the pric
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I was ok with the first two paragraphs of your post. However, I do disagree with some of the other information and comments you made.

First of all, we raise Murray Grey cows. They do well on any forage we provide and DO NOT turn down or pass up food in any form.

All of our hay is fed in either large round feeders or through feeder panels. That solves any waste of feed through tramping or scattering.

We feed no range cubes. Our cows do well on straight alfalfa or grass/alfalfa hay in the winter, and we are at 5700 feet with snowy, windy winters.

I find most of my momma cows average 23# of alfalfa hay per day per cow. The only time we've supplemented with grain, and we use a rolled barley/rolled corn mix, is when the price of hay is so high that it is more economical to substitute 1# of grain for 3# of hay. Some years we can feed less hay and come out $$ ahead by substituting the grain for part of the hay. Hay this year ran $130/T - we will be substituting some grain for hay this winter. Three years ago hay was $60-$80/T. We have had four years of severe drought. Our cows do not get any other "sweet feed" in addition to their hay, pregnant, nursing or not. Notice I said substitute, not add grain to their ration.

We prefer loose mineral compared to blocks. Some cows need more mineral than others and can't get what they need licking a block.

The past few years we have been providing good supplement tubs for the cows. This is not necessarily the most economical way to go. However, a close friend started selling livestock supplement and pays my husband in tubs for his help in unloading the semi's. Since he would be there helping anyway, we take the tubs and put them out for the cows. They do seem to decrease the hay consumption in the winter and the cows have shinier coats. I do not feel they are a necessity, though, as we did fine for years without them.

> Hey! Don't know what type of
> cattle or in what type of feeding
> environment you are dealing with.
> However, in general...cattle are
> cattle...ok?

> Simple stuff first: All cattle
> should have plenty of clean fresh
> water and free choice/access to
> salt and mineral blocks, esp.
> salt. Also, free choice to
> roughage (hay, grass, etc.) is
> important.

> We raise registered Texas
> Longhorns which are better at
> grazing & forage utilization
> than other breeds--will eat stuff
> the "English" and other
> cross-breeds will pass up.

> When pastures are sparse, can
> "monitor" feeding by
> feeding small square bales of hay,
> thereby they will not tromp down
> and scatter hay nearly as bad as
> when you feed the large round
> bales.

> We have had good success with
> maintaining condition with a
> sparse fall/winter/early spring
> pasture grass by feeding about a
> 4" flake of alfalfa hay twice
> a day per 1000 lb animal unit.
> Increase hay some when really cold
> and miserable outside. Also,
> provide a few range cubes (20% or
> so protein + other supplements)
> every day or so.

> With our pregnant and mama cows
> with un-weaned calves, we keep
> them separate from others (in some
> cases) and feed a "sweet
> feed" supplement--2-3 coffee
> cans (3# size) per 2 x day for
> added nutrition.

> With the longhorns, if their rear
> end/backbone area begins to become
> little sunken, then we increase
> the feed supplements--this can
> happen within just a few days--so,
> we can monitor feeding rather
> easily.

> Hope this info. helps a little!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Ask your local extension office for help in figuring feed rations. They can hook you up with someone who can explain it all to you. I used the "Small Scale Beef Production Handbook" from University of Illinois. It takes you step by step through figuring a feed ration. It's available on-line at <A HREF="http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~vista/abstracts/abeef.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~vista/abstracts/abeef.html</A>

[email protected]
 

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