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How do you know when it's time to feed hay?

redangus

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I've been trying to stock pile grass...and then it doesn't rain :mad: We have not had a good rain in about a month...maybe six weeks. I've still got quite a bit of bahaia (sp?). It's still green...but it's more dull now.

I've always heard that any green grass is better than just about any hay, and I try to wait as long as I can to cut down on winter feeding. I usually try to make it until at least December before feeding hay.

The only thing I know to look for are stools that are more segmented and start to pile higher after hitting the ground. What do you look for during drought conditions and after the first freeze to know when it's time to start rolling the round bails out?
 

dun

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The amount of time the cows are spending grazing and the length of the grass. Graze it too short and you're stealing from next years grass. Dry forage will always make the piles appear dryer, they are.
We're in the same boat rainwise. I think it was around the middle of September that we last had any.

dun
 

redangus

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If bahaia is still (somewhat) green and 4-5" high, are my cows still okay? They are fat. I could tell if it was bermuda...but I don't know as much about bahaia.
 

redangus

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Where are you at dun? I was in Mt. Grove MO last weekend, and IT WAS DRY!!!!!! I'm much better than they are.
 

dun

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redangus":1mg82axr said:
Where are you at dun? I was in Mt. Grove MO last weekend, and IT WAS DRY!!!!!! I'm much better than they are.

We're about 65 miles nnw of there. We've got cracks in the ground, been there a week or two already. Maybe rain by the week-end.

dun
 

TLCfromARK

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Another way to tell is when the herd chases your truck around creating dust storms, bawling or they start breaking into the hay barn and helping themselves.

Of course this means you should have started feeding somewhat earler.

I've even heard ( never seen it myself ) that some people might call their vet out to evaulate the herds BCS, draw blood, check out the "flops" for % floppinness, etc. before making such a critical call as to when to start feeding hay. :lol:

Really it depends on many factors, how much grass you have, how much hay you have, how the cows look. IMHO if you think they need some hay give them a roll and see if they clean it up. If they don't eat it all, they'll getting plenty of grazing else where.

;-)
 

dun

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J Baxter":2e591o7i said:
It hasn't rained over here since the 6th of August. Everything is dead.

What I find interesting is that the WSG is dried up and dead, the fescue isn't growing but it's still green and has moisture in it and the clover is going nuts. Even the freshly sprouted weeds are dying, a good thing.

dun
 

plbcattle

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my decision has already been made to feed hay. the cows are breaking into the hay barn for hay. when tyou haven't had rainn in almost 7 weeks and the ground looks like a earthquake hit because of all the cracks and the green grass has turned a dark brown, Its time
 

Campground Cattle

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SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE":sok6us77 said:
Yell county is dry as a popcorn fart, grass is gone. Have been feeding hay for two weeks.

Will try to send rain we are drowning, six inches in last ten days or so.
Weatherman says another 4 to 5 inches by the weekend. We are having the wettest year ever. Too wet can be bad also lost several cuttings of hay this year. May and June rained 56 days.
 

plbcattle

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what does rain look like. it has been so long since I have seen it I wouldn't recoginize it
 

Campground Cattle

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plbcattle":1xh6z2zi said:
what does rain look like. it has been so long since I have seen it I wouldn't recoginize it

Know what your talkin about back in the 99/00 drought here, devolped a line of Herefords that ate dirt. Went to raining in 2001 most died scoured from eating mud, rest starved to death cause the grass came out.
 

J Baxter

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I hope we get this rain that they are calling for this weekend. I need to plant my wheat, I've been feeding hay going on three weeks now, the ground is so hard that we can't even dig the sweet potatoes and the catfish have all packed up and moved to Arizona.

JB
 

txshowmom

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We have been really lucky this year, we got the right amount of rain at the right time so we haven't had to feed hay all summer (very unusual). I put out a bale last night and the cattle went wild. I don't understand why they still have plenty of green coastal grass. Guess they like the change. My cows are very picky. They won't eat stickers and they don't like the older tall thick grass. They prefer the shorter new growth. Go Figure? You would think grass is grass and a cow would be greatful for any of it these days. :roll:
 

dun

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txshowmom":2gjk0klg said:
We have been really lucky this year, we got the right amount of rain at the right time so we haven't had to feed hay all summer (very unusual). I put out a bale last night and the cattle went wild. I don't understand why they still have plenty of green coastal grass. Guess they like the change. My cows are very picky. They won't eat stickers and they don't like the older tall thick grass. They prefer the shorter new growth. Go Figure? You would think grass is grass and a cow would be greatful for any of it these days. :roll:

We had a bunch of heifers out in a clover pasture that had a little weeds and some very poor fescue. They were there for 5 months. When we pulled them out they had eaten the fescue to the ground and were starting on the weeds. I figured they just got tired of steak and wanted a hotdog for a change.

We had excess rain through the middle of august and things looked great. Not a drop since then. You gotta be carefull about whining about too much or too little of the stuff. Ol Ma Nature has a way of getting even with you.
Around here no matter how wet it is the standard saying is that we're never more then 10 days from a drought. Pretty accurate.

dun
 

txshowmom

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We had excess rain through the middle of august and things looked great. Not a drop since then. You gotta be carefull about whining about too much or too little of the stuff. Ol Ma Nature has a way of getting even with you.
Around here no matter how wet it is the standard saying is that we're never more then 10 days from a drought. Pretty accurate.

Who's whinning? We are usually VERY VERY dry. We have had a wet summer and I am extremly greatful. They say we are going to get 5 more inches today and I hope we do. Right now we don't need it but like you said you never know when it might come back so we take it anyway we can get it.
 

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