• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Grass finishing question

Help Support CattleToday:

brandonm_13

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
629
Reaction score
0
Location
Tennessee
I was doing some research on grass finishing, and I cam across where it was stated that some miniature cattle have been successfully finished on alfalfa, but it's not normally that way for full size cattle. For marbling to occur, it said the cow must be gaining at least 1.7 lbs per day (I would assume this if for an average size cow ~1200lbs). What is it about the alfalfa that won't let them marble? I know good alfalfa can get their growth rate high enough to marble.
 

mobgrazer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
367
Reaction score
0
Location
VA
When you look at grass fed there are a lot of ways to do it and everyone says there way is the best.

With my cows in my fields I found that keeping them full of non woody grass and getting them to stay in a smaller pasture. No the meat that they produce dose not have as much as a some of the corn fed prime ribs I see in the stores but I feel my stakes are more tender. The only time I supplement fed is during the winter if it gets to cold or it gets wet and they get bailed pasture grass and alfalfa. We do keep out free choice minerals and salt. We to harvest them by 20 months depending on what’s going on.

Depending on the frame size and how well adapted that cow is to grass fed it might be hard to get them to 1,200 with out a lot of inputs. If you do some digging around you will find that they go a little lighter and a little younger.
 

hayray

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
1,058
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern Michigan
corn has a lot more energy and those type of calories fed in excess is what is producing inter-muscular fat which is marbling. Alfalfa has a lot of energy in it but also has alot of fiber and protein which in comparison to corn is much lower in energy and so therefore you would expect less marbling based the more percentage of alfalfa you feed. However, alfalfa should provide more marbling then less energy and protein dense forages like some more mature grass. So it is not that alfalfa won't allow cattle to marble, I think what you were reading is that cattle will tend to marble less if they are only fed afalfa. Although, I am sure that there are some producers finishing on alfalfa that produce some pretty good choice beef. I finish mine with some alfalfa hay.
 
OP
B

brandonm_13

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
629
Reaction score
0
Location
Tennessee
I bet you're right. According to ???, red clover and alfalfa lignifies when it gets more mature, increasing the fiber content. Since they didn't say alfalfa, just alfalfa hay, I would get that would be the reason.
 

Latest posts

Top