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How much hay should a cow eat in a day?

Bar E

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I have two cows I'm feeding and their going threw a 1500 lb round bale every two weeks or so. Is that too much? Thanks in advance for your replies.
-E
 

Bar E

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Friend I bought it from said there +/- 1500 lbs. We have had some very very cold weather the last month though.
 

Bigfoot

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Bar E":37jxntab said:
Friend I bought it from said there +/- 1500 lbs. We have had some very very cold weather the last month though.

They will eat more, in bad weather. If they are 1000-1100 pound rolls, and they are wasting some, then that may not be too out of line. Can't beat the convenience of roll, but with just a few head, I believe I'd limit feed them somehow. Maybe square bales (I know there not fun). Maybe unroll what they'd clean up twice a day.
 

Bigfoot

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Never did answer your original question. My cows are eating or wasting about 30 pounds of hay a day.
 

farmerjan

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We figure about 20 cows per roll per day. The rolls are in the neighborhood of 1000-1200 lbs so that is 50 lbs per head per day. There is some waste with the rolls but even allowing for that it's 40 lbs per head per day. Feeding small square bales, they weigh in the neighborhood of 40-50 lbs each and a cow will eat at least one per day. Just what we figure. So 20 per roll per day = 1 per roll per 20 days = 2 per roll per 10 days.
So no I don't think it is too much if there is a little waste and the weather has been very cold.
 

Bigfoot

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Bar E":fbghj6s4 said:
Rule of thumb is 5 round bales per cow per winter? Yes or no?

That'd depend on a lot of things. When you had to start feeding. How early you could stop. The severity of the winter. So on and so on. That may be a hard and fast rule where your at though. Also, I have some 700 pound rolls here, and some 1400 pound rolls.
 

greybeard

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Bar E":20gdmv0o said:
Rule of thumb is 5 round bales per cow per winter? Yes or no?

Depends how long your winter is and if you had any stockpiled grass--and how much snow you have on the ground.
I had to look to find your 1st post...You are in Canada.
You should edit your profile so your location will show up. "per winter' in your Saskatchewan" is not going to be the same as 'per winter" in Tenn or Texas. For me, my mild winter is generally early Dec thru early March..maybe April.
5 bales/momma/winter would be about right here..for Canada..probably not.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=106541
 

farmerjan

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I wouldn't think that 5 round bales per cow per winter would be near enough up there. You get more cold than we do here in Va., and we figure 6-10 per cow for the winter. That's also trying to figure in how much grazing we will have available and GUESSING on the amount of snow we have. One year it started snowing the weekend before Christmas and we never saw bare ground until late March. VERY UNUSUAL. This year we had temps in the 40's to near 70's and rain for nearly 3 weeks of January; and we still have 30 acres of pasture that the cattle have been off of since July and 2 hayfields adjacent to it, that were only cut 1st cutting that we will also put the cows on if we don't get heavy snow....so our hay needs will be very much reduced this year.
Depends on the number of days in the overall figures, but we try to plan for 120 days and hope it is less than 90.
 

Son of Butch

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Bar E":jnbhdtjp said:
Rule of thumb is 5 round bales per cow per winter? Yes or no?
NO, there is no such standard rule as others have pointed out round bales can vary from 700 to 1450 lbs and depending on how they are fed waste can be from 10% to 1/3 in addition cows can vary from 1000 lbs to 1700 lbs not to mention quality of the hay bale ect. Although you can determine your own needs and come up with your own rule of thumb for your farm
 

Clodhopper

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We always figure one 6ft bale per month per head. We bought GoBob hay feeders last year, and they claim 25% hay savings. I don't know if it's that much or not, but there is much less waste with these feeders. That being said, with just two head, I agree with the others that limit feeding would work well for you.
 

True Grit Farms

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I try and keep free choice hay out all the time, I get paid by the pound. I bought a hay wrapper - unroller and I'm not impressed at all. I still have hay waste and the cows sound hungry. My hay trailers work better for my management style.
 

pdfangus

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weather and location are two factors no one has mentioned in all the rules of thumb.....should be different from Montana to Missouri to Mississippi.

also the size and reproductive status of the cow.....

nothing in life is simple....
 

Rafter S

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Bar E":27v07gz0 said:
I have two cows I'm feeding and their going threw a 1500 lb round bale every two weeks or so. Is that too much? Thanks in advance for your replies.
-E

If they're eating it all, then it's not too much. It would be difficult for them to get too fat on hay.
 

greybeard

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True Grit Farms":27mlh2rb said:
I try and keep free choice hay out all the time..

Same here. In hay rings, but I don't put a new bale in any ring till there's just very little left around where that ring was. (They always shove it off to the side to get the last bits) I think there will always be 'some' waste no matter what way you feed it.
 

skyhightree1

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Bar E":2bsmdvzn said:
I have two cows I'm feeding and their going threw a 1500 lb round bale every two weeks or so. Is that too much? Thanks in advance for your replies.
-E

id look at how much there wasting and that would determine how much they need. I started unrolling my hay this year and they clean it up to the drop almost. If no time or bad weather coming in I put bales out and they waste the heck out of it.
 

TexasBred

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Bar E":2n4t439l said:
I have two cows I'm feeding and their going threw a 1500 lb round bale every two weeks or so. Is that too much? Thanks in advance for your replies.
-E
They may be eating it all but I think you're probably missing the weight on the bales. Hard to get that much straight hay into an average size beef cow. Dairies try to get that much and a little more into a dairy cow but only half of it is roughage. (hay, silage etc) Weather, etc. will affect amount consumed but that's pretty excessive.
 

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