Feeding hay

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Fred Belknap

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My cattle each eat around 38 pounds of hay a day plus I give them a little grain. They are cows with nursing calves and some of the calves eat quit a lot of hay. My question, am I feeding them to much? They aren't fat and the weather is bad. :?:
 

Jogeephus

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I'm curious to what the right way is myself. I feed mine free choice hay. Some days they polish it off and some days there are bales left untouched. I wouldn't think that the amount you are feeding is too much but I don't really know the right answer or if there is one.
 

Angus Cowman

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I put out 2 bales per herd per day if that is cleaned up I might go with 2 1/2 bales the next if that is cleaned up I go with 3 if they don't clean it up I cut back until they do
In bad weather I want them to have all they hay they will eat , I adjust my hay to how much they will consume
 

I luv herfrds

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Fred if they are cleaning up what you are feeding then I would increase it a little more. If they are leaving some then they are being fed enough.
Figured during our cold weather we were feeding just over 40# per animal, that was oat hay, grass and alfalfa grass mix.
 

Limomike

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Fred, I wouldnt worry about how much they are eating, as long as they are looking healthy. Cows with nursing calves need good hay and feed especially during the winter months.
 

cfpinz

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I unroll about 30lbs/cow per day of good hay and keep a couple rough rolls in the rings so they have something to pick at if they get hungry. These are pairs with Nov/Dec calves, they're holding their condition, no grain or any other type of supplement. If it calls for bad weather I fill up the rings in each group and let them have at it.
 

grannysoo

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I keep free choice on mine at all times with the exception of 1 day every 7 - 10 days. On that day, they must hunt and peck to find whatever they have left to get full. Works good for me.

Once they have scratched out all they will eat, they stand at the fence and call me... :roll:
 

bigbull338

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sounds like your cows are doing fine on eating free choice hay.we have 80 to 90 hd of cows calves an heifers.an they eat 6 6 by 5 baleas every 6 or 7 days.so they eat 15lbs of hay a hd a day more or less.plus they are running on pasture.
 

HOSS

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I feed free choice hay all winter. When the temps drop so does the level in the hayring :D I have noticed that last week when we have near 70 degree temps that they ate very little hay and laid around trying to keep cool in their winter coats. We have had some very cold days this winter that has made a bigger dent than anticipated in my hay stock so I am looking at buying a load this week just to make sure I have enough.
 

TheBullLady

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Keeping an eye on their condition is the best way to tell. As the calves get bigger, the cows will need more to maintain their body condition, and you'll no doubt have to increase the amount.
 

novatech

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Angus Cowman":2rzv1t5e said:
I put out 2 bales per herd per day if that is cleaned up I might go with 2 1/2 bales the next if that is cleaned up I go with 3 if they don't clean it up I cut back until they do
In bad weather I want them to have all they hay they will eat , I adjust my hay to how much they will consume
I believe this is the most efficient way to feed. There is simply a lot less waste. I do the same and have noticed that the cattle will browse the pasture more when I limit my feeding. Cattle get spoiled just like people in the welfare lines waiting for a hand out. If the cattle are maintaining their BCS and there is some forage in the pasture I make them eat it.
 

dun

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When we put out hay, unless there is ice on the ground, I wait until they have cleaned it up and have started checking out the pature again before I put any more out.
 

Limomike

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dun":sf0k5x01 said:
When we put out hay, unless there is ice on the ground, I wait until they have cleaned it up and have started checking out the pature again before I put any more out.
That is the best way to do it dun; kinda like I do. I make my cows "want" the hay, and make them go looking for grass mainly during the morning and early afternoon hours. Come evening-time, if they are back around my house and have cleaned up the hay, then I give them some more. If not, then I let them forage in the pastures. Right now, mine have access to all four pastures to go forage in.
 
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