Feeding to poop stream

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Silver

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So what's the worst case scenario here if I just keep feeding alfalfa? I'm wasting money out their poop chute? Or are they actually getting sick and somehow malnourished? Grass hay around here is more expensive than this alfalfa for round bales - just because the horse market is enough stronger than dairy.
I’d just keep feeding it if it were me.
Gotta ask though, do horse guys down there not like alfalfa? It’s my feed of choice for usin’ horses.
 

GoWyo

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The alfalfa being 3rd cutting is just too hot. Too much protein and not enough dry matter and it just seems hard on their guts to be on that diet for a long period of time -- like me trying to live on candy bars. If you can go to free choice on something pretty rough and even allow free choice on the alfalfa at the same time, they will eat enough of the rough stuff to balance things out and do well on it. Go buy a couple of grass bales and see how much of each they eat given the choice. They may not eat that much grass hay, but they need the extra dry matter. I feed alfalfa to my replacement heifers, but they have access to dormant grass pasture or a grass bale and they seem to like some of each.
 
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angus9259

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I’d just keep feeding it if it were me.
Gotta ask though, do horse guys down there not like alfalfa? It’s my feed of choice for usin’ horses.
The do like limit feeding alfalfa but not free choice so they use small squares of second and third alfalfa. When there's a lot of second and third folks end up putting into rounds because there's so much. They say horses get sick or fat on that (I'm not a horse guy) when you put them out free choice.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Whole oats is also a good source of fiber. Will you see oats or WSC in their manure?? - YES. But, they have digested what they need out of the whole grain. On corn, there is 8% difference in available nutrients compared to processed. If you can buy whole corn or oats for less than an 8% difference, you are money ahead AND I think whole is going to be better for your situation.
I feed whole oats all the time to my show string. I use more or less in an individual ration depending on how FAT they are (oats will help keep them from getting fat) - or - how YOUNG they are. Whole oats is safer than corn. Hubby always told me it was more like feeding hay than grain.
@TexasBred can give you more info. My hubby was a nutritionist, so I am quoting things he taught me.
 

Dsth

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So what's the worst case scenario here if I just keep feeding alfalfa? I'm wasting money out their poop chute? Or are they actually getting sick and somehow malnourished? Grass hay around here is more expensive than this alfalfa for round bales - just because the horse market is enough stronger than dairy.
sometimes I ask myself how I would feel if I had the same problem as my livestock. If I could poop through a screen door on a continuous basis, I would find a way to make myself feel better. like previous post have mentioned, calves will find a way to balance their rations that make them feel better. if corn stalk bales are available and not too expensive, that would be my first choice. talk to your local feed supplier to see what other options you have. years ago I mixed cotton seeds with my dairy ration just to increase fiber content.
 
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angus9259

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Today their poop is more like pancake batter - which I'm OK with. On the same hay. Interesting. Maybe I need to find a better way to manage when I put out a fresh bale. I never let the bale feeder run out but I'm sure there are more stems as they get to the end of a bale as well. I'm going to try giving them a couple pounds per day of shell corn/ whole oats and work on my bale delivery. Will also put out a stemmy bale of grass if the grain doesn't make me some progress.
 
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