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Grazing/Nutrition question

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oscarsteve

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When I started to let the cows limit graze (2-3 hours/day) the winter grazing (mostly annual ryegrass) around the first of the year I also had hay for them to eat because they really didn't have anything else to eat. They've been on free choice high mag minerals since the end of November or so. Now, the ryegrass is knee high and I'm rotating them through for about 7 hours/day. I've posted pictures of them grazing it in a couple of other discussions here on CT. From the looks of the manure it's plenty rich for them. Do I still need to have hay for them to eat when I get them off the ryegrass every afternoon? They can pick around and browse on some stuff but there still isn't much else yet. Shouldn't 7 hours, or a little more, be enough grazing time to meet their needs? Do they need the hay for extra roughage? Any danger in them not having access to hay or anything else? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

JSCATTLE

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Where are you located ? My heifers are in ryegrass 24/7 now . 6 acres grows faster than they can eat it.. another month and it will all be gone here .. one thing I do is mow mine every so often to keep it from going to seed .
 
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oscarsteve

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I'm on the East side of Georgia between Athens and Augusta. I have 28 cows and 21 calves on 2-acre paddocks for about 7 hours/day. It's lasting 3-4 days before I move them to the next paddock. I have about 38 acres of it (19 paddocks). Hoping to hold some of it back from them and cut it for hay. AND trying to decide when to leave them on 24/7.
 

Banjo

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You may be over thinking it........I don't know of any thing more nutritious than ryegrass for cattle.
 

TexasBred

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oscarsteve":2e718xuw said:
When I started to let the cows limit graze (2-3 hours/day) the winter grazing (mostly annual ryegrass) around the first of the year I also had hay for them to eat because they really didn't have anything else to eat. They've been on free choice high mag minerals since the end of November or so. Now, the ryegrass is knee high and I'm rotating them through for about 7 hours/day. I've posted pictures of them grazing it in a couple of other discussions here on CT. From the looks of the manure it's plenty rich for them. Do I still need to have hay for them to eat when I get them off the ryegrass every afternoon? They can pick around and browse on some stuff but there still isn't much else yet. Shouldn't 7 hours, or a little more, be enough grazing time to meet their needs? Do they need the hay for extra roughage? Any danger in them not having access to hay or anything else? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
The only problem with rye grass or any grass this time of the year is dry matter. Not unusual for it to be 75-80% water so a cow has to really wear it out to get a large amount of dry matter. Good thing is they have no problem getting big mouth fulls every time but they will still expend a lot of energy moving throughout the pasture of lush grass....... just the way cows are.
 

kilroy60

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We turned ours out a week ago and have plenty of hi-mag out for them. We have some hay out for them too but it doesn't look like they have went back to it. I'd go ahead and let them have it.
 

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