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Hay

A

Anonymous

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I am a beginner at cattle. Do I need to feed hay year round or only if my pasture isn't supporting them? If hay is needed, how much for 5 adults and 5 calves about 6 month old. How often? Thank for the help.
 

Campground Cattle

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Need more info condition of pasture how many cows per acre what part of the country. If you have quality pasture there is no need to feed hay. Now where I'm located I figure three 5x5's round bales per cow for winter .
 

sillco

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Davie":23pqoa65 said:
I am a beginner at cattle. Do I need to feed hay year round or only if my pasture isn't supporting them? If hay is needed, how much for 5 adults and 5 calves about 6 month old. How often? Thank for the help.

Regardless where you live a full grown cow about 1200 lbs will require about 25 - 30 lbs of dry mater basis material daily. The protein level should be above 8 - 10 %, proferly more. If your pasture does not support your cows in the growing season, chances are you have too many cows on too small an acreage. Adjust your stocking rate so the amount grass you can grow will support the cows in the growing season and be able to harvest required hay for winter feeding. Now, some may find it cheaper to buy hay for the winter and graze more cattle. You shouldn't have to feed hay when the grass is growing. You can increase you stocking rate (acres per cow or cows per acre) by appling fertilizer to increase grass yealds. Three smaller applications is prefered over one large application. Most grasses are capable of producing between 4 and 6 tons or more of forage per acre on a dry mater basis. It depends on the type of grass. Also, some grasses are "stronger" than other grasses in protein content and digestibility. When managing pasture or hay field one should take a soil sample and also a forage sample to establish where they are to know where they need to be. Your Estension Agent can help you with this. Good Luck
 

sillco

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sillco":2ge2xxks said:
Davie":2ge2xxks said:
I am a beginner at cattle. Do I need to feed hay year round or only if my pasture isn't supporting them? If hay is needed, how much for 5 adults and 5 calves about 6 month old. How often? Thank for the help.

Regardless where you live a full grown cow about 1200 lbs will require about 25 - 30 lbs of dry mater basis material daily. The protein level should be above 8 - 10 %, proferly more. If your pasture does not support your cows in the growing season, chances are you have too many cows on too small an acreage. Adjust your stocking rate so the amount grass you can grow will support the cows in the growing season and be able to harvest required hay for winter feeding. Now, some may find it cheaper to buy hay for the winter and graze more cattle. You shouldn't have to feed hay when the grass is growing. You can increase you stocking rate (acres per cow or cows per acre) by appling fertilizer to increase grass yealds. Three smaller applications is prefered over one large application. Most grasses are capable of producing between 4 and 6 tons or more of forage per acre on a dry mater basis. It depends on the type of grass. Also, some grasses are "stronger" than other grasses in protein content and digestibility. When managing pasture or hay field one should take a soil sample and also a forage sample to establish where they are to know where they need to be. Your Estension Agent can help you with this. Good Luck

Another thing to do to improve pasture grass is to not allow it to "head out" or develop seed heads. To provent this from happening you should cross fence the acrage into small paddocks and rotate your cattle through them on a short time period. Maybe every day or two. The paddocks should be small enough that the cattle will comsume the entire grass offering within that day or two, leaving enough for regrowth, about 4 -6 inches. The more paddocks the better. Try to arrange it that you don't graze the same paddock twice in a 28 to 30 day period. Most grasses will be at full peek in protein at this time so shoot for grazing during this period. If you can't graze all the grass required to prevent heading out, then mow the grass for hay or with a screader. (Bush Hog) Apply the fertilizer following each grazing period which will be about 28 to 30 days after the previous grazing period. If you become a grass farmer, the cows will take care of themselves.
 

dun

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An added but often overlooked advantage to clipping the pasture to remove seed heads before grazing is the decrease in seed eye irritation that leads to pinkeye.

dun


sillco":3jjqwgha said:
sillco":3jjqwgha said:
Davie":3jjqwgha said:
I am a beginner at cattle. Do I need to feed hay year round or only if my pasture isn't supporting them? If hay is needed, how much for 5 adults and 5 calves about 6 month old. How often? Thank for the help.

Regardless where you live a full grown cow about 1200 lbs will require about 25 - 30 lbs of dry mater basis material daily. The protein level should be above 8 - 10 %, proferly more. If your pasture does not support your cows in the growing season, chances are you have too many cows on too small an acreage. Adjust your stocking rate so the amount grass you can grow will support the cows in the growing season and be able to harvest required hay for winter feeding. Now, some may find it cheaper to buy hay for the winter and graze more cattle. You shouldn't have to feed hay when the grass is growing. You can increase you stocking rate (acres per cow or cows per acre) by appling fertilizer to increase grass yealds. Three smaller applications is prefered over one large application. Most grasses are capable of producing between 4 and 6 tons or more of forage per acre on a dry mater basis. It depends on the type of grass. Also, some grasses are "stronger" than other grasses in protein content and digestibility. When managing pasture or hay field one should take a soil sample and also a forage sample to establish where they are to know where they need to be. Your Estension Agent can help you with this. Good Luck

Another thing to do to improve pasture grass is to not allow it to "head out" or develop seed heads. To provent this from happening you should cross fence the acrage into small paddocks and rotate your cattle through them on a short time period. Maybe every day or two. The paddocks should be small enough that the cattle will comsume the entire grass offering within that day or two, leaving enough for regrowth, about 4 -6 inches. The more paddocks the better. Try to arrange it that you don't graze the same paddock twice in a 28 to 30 day period. Most grasses will be at full peek in protein at this time so shoot for grazing during this period. If you can't graze all the grass required to prevent heading out, then mow the grass for hay or with a screader. (Bush Hog) Apply the fertilizer following each grazing period which will be about 28 to 30 days after the previous grazing period. If you become a grass farmer, the cows will take care of themselves.
 
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