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feeding wheat straw

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Anonymous

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Over the years I have read dozens of articles about ways to lower the costs of winter feeds to brood cows, who don't have access to winter pasture, etc. What is interesting to me is that wheat straw is rarely mentioned as a winter feedstuff for beef brood cows. I recognize that wheat straw shouldn't be the sole source of feed for cattle since it lacks protein, energy, etc., but I assume that it can be fed on a limited basis.

Any thoughts on the positives and negatives of feeding wheat straw to beef cows?
 

hillbilly

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Its filler, nothing more, by itself. In this part of the country
if you treat it, or supliment heavy enough to keep them eating it, you've spent more than just good hay.

Hillbilly
 

donnaIL

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And if its a bad hay year when no one has hay to sell...you could feed the cows with supplements..but will cost you...agree. A couple years ago it was just that...no hay..i've heard of people spraying it with a protein spray that has flavor... i think cows will eat anything if they are hungry. its sort of a what is cost effective for you...if i get some junk hay i feed it. just my opinion donna
 

frenchie

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Google"]Over the years I have read dozens of articles about ways to lower the costs of winter feeds to brood cows, who don't have access to winter pasture, etc. What is interesting to me is that wheat straw is rarely mentioned as a winter feedstuff for beef brood cows. I recognize that wheat straw shouldn't be the sole source of feed for cattle since it lacks protein, energy, etc., but I assume that it can be fed on a limited basis.

Any thoughts on the positives and negatives of feeding wheat straw to beef cows?

Yes you can feed wheat straw,(Oat or Barley straw is better) but you need to supplement it with either grain , molasses supplement or inject the bales with Anhydrous Ammonia , or other supplement..You also need to have a appropriate calving time.

BUT.......Personally I believe you are further ahead to feed good hay.....Its usually much cheaper in the end.
:) :) :)
 

Bez

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Yup - frenchie is correct - be that as it may I have been forced to feed my cows straw.

In fact at one time I was purchasing 6 foot round bales of straw at $107.50 per bale! That's how bad the drought was, and I have the invoice framed to prove it.

Make sure they have lots - and I do mean lots of water available to prevent impaction. Add some grain and free choice mineral. We fed like this for almost a year - financially tough times but the calves were worth something then.

If you are looking for a supplement system put one bale of straw out for every two bales of hay.

Ours managed - and even kept their condition fairly well.

In the end good hay is better - straw is either a filler or a desperation measure.

Best regards

Bez
 

Oldtimer

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In my area there is a lot of straw fed during the cold winter months along with hay-fills the cows up and the digestion process helps keep them warm. Good way to stretch your supply of high protein alfalfa out- works really good if you can grind right with the good hay.
 

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