Feeding Range Cattle

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I have started raising cattle...have 12 one year old heifers. They range on 60 acres with half in bahia grass. My partner has been buying 12% sweet feed to augment the grass, approx 3# per day/heifer. I read that it is important to keep the ph factor constant in the stomach, or the cow is not efficient in digesting. My question...are we wrong to feed sweet feed versus a range cube when they are on the field? What is the best to augment them until the grass is in full swing? (We do also have round bails for them in the field)



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Anonymous

Just because range cubes are what everyone else feeds, it doesn't mean they are the best. It really depends on what you need to add to the heifers feed, and the cost.

If you have decent protien in the hay they are getting, sweet feed will have more energy and actually be better for the heifers. If your protien is very low, you might need the extra protien range cubes provide, but you will lose the energy the sweet feed has.

Generally speaking, the cheapest suppliment is corn and soymeal mixed yourself. However some don't want the extra work, some don't want to suppliment the cattle everyday.

If you are content with the cost, and the heifers are doing well, keep it up.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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Roy E. Mosley Jr.

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for me some hay and a trace min salt block does me well on range with holstiens so I know it will work for beef cows
 

ollie

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$400 per ton I don't think soybean meal is a good value.
 

Larry Sansom

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Gary":3odsvh9v said:
I have started raising cattle...have 12 one year old heifers. They range on 60 acres with half in bahia grass. My partner has been buying 12% sweet feed to augment the grass, approx 3# per day/heifer. I read that it is important to keep the ph factor constant in the stomach, or the cow is not efficient in digesting. My question...are we wrong to feed sweet feed versus a range cube when they are on the field? What is the best to augment them until the grass is in full swing? (We do also have round bails for them in the field)



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Cattle are ruminants - stop propping them up with feed. You will never know which ones to keep if you support your cattle and your feed salesman! Try letting the cows support you. Sweet feed is the most expensive feed you can buy. Corn on grass is a big mistake - starch conversion problems. If you feel you must feed on grass, go to a soy hull by-product type of feed with out the corn digestion problem. Corn and soybean meal rations work best if Not on grass.
 

cherokeeruby

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Agree 100%, let the cow raise them, then you know who is worth keeping.
Don't supplement grass unless in a drought, don't keep heifers from drought years, unless her dam is just outstanding and the heifer didn't seem to be affected by drought conditions. We made a big mistake a few years ago by keeping heifers during a three year drought. Never have calving problems with Brahman cows, we did with those heifers. Only one to do any good was from our cow line that can always find something to eat and always looks well fed.

Larry Sansom":10ds5oib said:
Gary":10ds5oib said:
I have started raising cattle...have 12 one year old heifers. They range on 60 acres with half in bahia grass. My partner has been buying 12% sweet feed to augment the grass, approx 3# per day/heifer. I read that it is important to keep the ph factor constant in the stomach, or the cow is not efficient in digesting. My question...are we wrong to feed sweet feed versus a range cube when they are on the field? What is the best to augment them until the grass is in full swing? (We do also have round bails for them in the field)



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Cattle are ruminants - stop propping them up with feed. You will never know which ones to keep if you support your cattle and your feed salesman! Try letting the cows support you. Sweet feed is the most expensive feed you can buy. Corn on grass is a big mistake - starch conversion problems. If you feel you must feed on grass, go to a soy hull by-product type of feed with out the corn digestion problem. Corn and soybean meal rations work best if Not on grass.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Where are you located? A lot of cattle feeding, etc., depends on one's geographic location, weather factors, grass type and availability, etc.

Some sweet feed has minerals along with corn, cottonseed hulls, molasses, etc., etc. Generally I think the sweet feed puts on calories.

Range Cubes (breeder cubes, cake) have good source of minerals along with between 20% and 40% protein (depending on brand name and formula) which are excellent when grass or hay is under 10% protein.

Cattle need a lot of things; and, good source of minerals and protein is very important.
 

HandB

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feed Bacti-Grow P-45 and some cheap rice straw or oat/rye/pature hay ( a cheap fiber source)
 

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