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Free Choice Hay

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Nesikep

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I'm not sure on this, but from what I would GUESS, on a percentage basis, you get better feed conversion on a limited supply, however, based on weight gain of the animal, I think the animal does make more use of additional hay, wether it's worth it, I guess that's kinda up to you, as well as the conditions and the quality of hay
 

1982vett

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Not quite sure if I understand your question. For me, in a cow/calf situation in the south, the use of hay is to bridge the time when green grazing is limited. I want the cows to maintain condition and raise a calf. I'm not necessarily looking to fatten them on it.

Free choice hay (in my way of thinking) would result in greater waste as they wouldn't be forced to "clean up" after themselves but that is not what you asked.
 
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Stocker Steve

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1982vett":9unwnlt1 said:
I want the cows to maintain condition and raise a calf. I'm not necessarily looking to fatten them on it.
Free choice hay (in my way of thinking) would result in greater waste as they wouldn't be forced to "clean up" after themselves but that is not what you asked.

I currently "bale graze" by providing a row of bales with rings, which has an electric poly twine temporary fence to keep them from the next row. No tractors/no grinders/no unrollers.

I force them to clean up to some extent, but they will break down the electric fence and have a hay buffet party :banana: if I don't watch it closely. In this situation I think weight is mostly controlled by hay or straw quality.

Dun - I realize processing increases waste.

I had heard that limit feeding calves increases grain feed conversion, but I had never seen any cow hay data. In my case - - I was trying to put some pounds on before the below zero weather hit. The shorthorn and hereford crosses were really packing on some pounds. The angus crosses were not gaining as much.
 

1982vett

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Stocker Steve":3tw3xl7q said:
I had heard that limit feeding calves increases grain feed conversion, but I had never seen any cow hay data. In my case - - I was trying to put some pounds on before the below zero weather hit. The shorthorn and hereford crosses were really packing on some pounds. The angus crosses were not gaining as much.

It would seem logical that if the hay more than met the daily requirements that they would gain weight.
 

mnmtranching

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Young stock or growing cattle should have good quality free choice and there will be plenty of waste. When the waste in the rings piles up I take the calves out of that area and let the cows at it, the hungry cows clean it up.
To have stock cows on free choice hay, seems like they would be getting more then they need? I want my cows to maintain, no need to put on pounds. I limit the feed and feed daily. I like the cows full when I leave and hungry when I get there.
 

bigbull338

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we feed free choice hay to the cows calves an heifers.an let them eat all they want.right now they eat 6 bales in 7 days.an spend alot of time in the pasture.
 

grannysoo

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We keep free choice on them when we don't have pasture to graze. Putting pounds on them is not the issue, but maintaining body condition is.

A cow needs a certain amount of bulk to fill up the belly. A hungry cow is one that looks for a way to get out...
 

Wewild

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I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
 

dun

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Wewild":11pr1v3g said:
I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
I must be doing something wrong. Mine gain condition over the winter on just hay and stockpiled grass and lose some while they're raising a calf. This year the grass was so good that a couple of them gained weight and still weaned big calves
 

Wewild

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dun":1z5l89wx said:
Wewild":1z5l89wx said:
I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
I must be doing something wrong. Mine gain condition over the winter on just hay and stockpiled grass and lose some while they're raising a calf. This year the grass was so good that a couple of them gained weight and still weaned big calves

It must be me.

Ours loose some and start gaining back in March or April at worst. We haven't even in the non-drought conditions fed hay that they didn't drop off some.

I got the stockpile thing. We are trying it now. I'm not bought into that as being the answer.


I am floored.
 

TexasBred

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dun":1dajecf4 said:
Wewild":1dajecf4 said:
I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
I must be doing something wrong. Mine gain condition over the winter on just hay and stockpiled grass and lose some while they're raising a calf. This year the grass was so good that a couple of them gained weight and still weaned big calves

Quality, quality, quality !!!!....both cattle and feed.
:tiphat:
 

Angus Cowman

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TexasBred":3e8je2o6 said:
dun":3e8je2o6 said:
Wewild":3e8je2o6 said:
I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
I must be doing something wrong. Mine gain condition over the winter on just hay and stockpiled grass and lose some while they're raising a calf. This year the grass was so good that a couple of them gained weight and still weaned big calves

Quality, quality, quality....cattle and feed.
:tiphat:
Since calving my cows have maintained or gained weight and they are on stockpiled fescue and mine usually don't lose much when I start feeding hay and that is with a calf on them
I will try to get some pics on here as soon as we find or buy a new camera my wife lost hers LOL
 

4CTophand

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I want to be your hay supplier since I know that bale grazing wastes about 60% of your hay due to trampling and shat.
Let me know
T


Stocker Steve":1tj9pqxe said:
1982vett":1tj9pqxe said:
I want the cows to maintain condition and raise a calf. I'm not necessarily looking to fatten them on it.
Free choice hay (in my way of thinking) would result in greater waste as they wouldn't be forced to "clean up" after themselves but that is not what you asked.

I currently "bale graze" by providing a row of bales with rings, which has an electric poly twine temporary fence to keep them from the next row. No tractors/no grinders/no unrollers.

I force them to clean up to some extent, but they will break down the electric fence and have a hay buffet party :banana: if I don't watch it closely. In this situation I think weight is mostly controlled by hay or straw quality.

Dun - I realize processing increases waste.

I had heard that limit feeding calves increases grain feed conversion, but I had never seen any cow hay data. In my case - - I was trying to put some pounds on before the below zero weather hit. The shorthorn and hereford crosses were really packing on some pounds. The angus crosses were not gaining as much.
 
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Stocker Steve

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4CTophand said:
I want to be your hay supplier since I know that bale grazing wastes about 60% of your hay due to trampling and shat.
Let me know
T

Some people use rings...
When the cattle have cleaned it the hay, you roll the rings to the next row of bales.
 

grannysoo

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dun":37keyrkj said:
Wewild":37keyrkj said:
I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
I must be doing something wrong. Mine gain condition over the winter on just hay and stockpiled grass and lose some while they're raising a calf. This year the grass was so good that a couple of them gained weight and still weaned big calves

I guess I'm failing too. My girls look as good now as they did in the summer.
 

TexasBred

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grannysoo":8hpda7ar said:
dun":8hpda7ar said:
Wewild":8hpda7ar said:
I thought cows always lost body condition in the winter when feeding hay and calving.
I must be doing something wrong. Mine gain condition over the winter on just hay and stockpiled grass and lose some while they're raising a calf. This year the grass was so good that a couple of them gained weight and still weaned big calves

I guess I'm failing too. My girls look as good now as they did in the summer.

Granny...that can't be so. You ain't even read 4C's book yet. :lol: :lol:
 

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