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my beef cattle is not eating any hay

micultra6977

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I am brand new to raising beef cattle. We have had our beef for a week, he is black agnus weight was 625 at auction, I have him in a 1/4 acre fenced area that has descent amount of grass in it. We are feeding him 2 scoops of grain 1 in morning and 1 in night. I am guessing the scoop holds about 3# of grain. The problem we are having he will not eat the hay which is a first cut alfafa mix. He is grazing somewhat in the field but not enough i feel. We have tried 2 different types of hay but still nothing. The grain is a local blend from feed mill they use for finishing 13% protein. Should i be concerned we are hoping to slaughter him in November but I dont think we will get even close to the 1100 we want. He is all alone looking at getting second beef in a week or so. Any help would be appreciated. Should we be concerned about the hay issue and what do we need to do to get him to 1100 by november.
 

TexasBred

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Unless that grass is 2 ft. tall 1/4 acre won't last one steer very long. What he don't eat he'll walk down. What does his manure look like?? Thick and hard, runny, somewhere in between...does the feed mix have any roughage products in it?? Also....never feed by the "scoop, bucket or whatever" unless you weigh a "full scoop" and find out what it weighs then you can estimate the pounds of feed you are giving him. You should know how much your calf is eating per day or you'll never feed him the right amount. He definitely needs a good source of roughage in addition to grain to maintain steady growth..
 

farmwriter

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TexasBred":2uwdhs8a said:
Unless that grass is 2 ft. tall 1/4 acre won't last one steer very long. What he don't eat he'll walk down.
Absolutely - sorry I didn't read the original post carefully enough!
 

1982vett

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Probably grazing at night or early morning, just weand off mama and doesn't know what alfalfa is...yet. He will learn quick enough.
 

kenny thomas

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Even if he eats good he will have a hard time weighing 1100 by November. 120 days to gain 500 lb is 4.16lb gain per day. To do that he will have to eat about 32lb of grain a day. At his current weight he can not eat that much.
 

edrsimms

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First of all a 625 lb calf to 1100 by November you are dreaming----------------------------

625 lb calf will eat approximately 20 lbs per day of something whether it is grass, hay or feed or any commbination thereof.
To gain 3 lbs per day or 100 lbs per month you will need the following:
He needs about 1.6 lbs of total protein (TP) per day, but this has to be done gradually not all at once.
3 lbs of 13% = 0.35 lbs of TP You are somewhat short.

625 x 3% = 19 lbs total consumption per day
625 lb steer to start feed 3 lbs of 13% with an increase daily of 1 lb until you reach a desired TP + a 12% grass hay
Day 1 -- free choice grass hay + 3 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.36 (3)+ .96 (16) = 1.32 TP
Day 2 -- free choice grass hay + 4 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.48 (4)+ .90 (15) = 1.38 TP
Day 3 -- free choice grass hay + 5 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.60 (5)+ .84 (14) = 1.44 TP
Day 4 -- free choice grass hay + 6 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.72 (6)+ .78 (13) = 1.50 TP
Day 5 -- free choice grass hay + 7 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.84 (7)+ .72 (12) = 1.56 TP
Day 6 -- free choice grass hay + 8 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.96 (8)+ .66 (11) = 1.62 TP
By day 7 you will be feeding your steer 8 lbs of 13% ration + free choice grass hay at at least 12% CP and 50% TDN
August 22 thru Sept 22 you should see an increase at minimum of 100 lbs of gain. (increased weight to 725)
Sept 23 to Oct 23 you need 1.7 TP
Increase the feed to 10 lbs and allow access for free choice grass hay or lower quality. (weight minimum of 825)
Oct 23 to Nov 23 you need 1.8 TP
Increase the feed to 11 lb and allow access for free choice grass hay of lower quality (weight minimum of 925)
Nov 23 thru Dec 23rd you need 1.8 TP
Feed 13 lbs of 13% ration which will = 1.56 TP and all access for free choice grass hay of lower quality (end of period gain to 1025 lbs)
Dec 23 thru Jan 23rd you will need 2.0 to 2.1 TP
Feed 15 lbs of 13% ration which is 1.8 TP and lower quality hay to finish weight.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Cattle and horses are grazers first and hay eaters second. Fresh quality grass tastes better than dry hay. Hay is usually fed when grass is scarce and/or grass is less than palatable.

When an animal is satisfied with his grass intake it will sample/eat hay (during day or every once in a while). If the hay tastes better than the grass they will go to hay. Some animals who are not accustomed to hay or "grain products" may take a while to get them used to a different taste or "feel" in their mouth. When introducing an animal to "feed", just put out a little so they clean it up and not leave it stand in trough or pan for several days..."sweet tasting" feed attracts flies and insects.

Also, some animals have to be "trained" to eat and like cubes. Any animal coming off teat after weaning will have to experiment with food items and tastes so they can decide what they like best.

During drought or dormant grass times, "good" leafy high protein hay can be a real treat and they will probably eat more of it.

P.S.: Daily weight gain of 2.5 to 3.5 lbs a day is probably a very good "average range" for cattle (unless they are starved and pig out on the grass/hay/feed. Two pounds a day gain for pasture/hay feeding is pretty good also.
 

TexasBred

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edrsimms":hwobfh29 said:
First of all a 625 lb calf to 1100 by November you are dreaming----------------------------

625 lb calf will eat approximately 20 lbs per day of something whether it is grass, hay or feed or any commbination thereof.
To gain 3 lbs per day or 100 lbs per month you will need the following:
He needs about 1.6 lbs of total protein (TP) per day, but this has to be done gradually not all at once.
3 lbs of 13% = 0.35 lbs of TP You are somewhat short.

625 x 3% = 19 lbs total consumption per day
625 lb steer to start feed 3 lbs of 13% with an increase daily of 1 lb until you reach a desired TP + a 12% grass hay
Day 1 -- free choice grass hay + 3 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.36 (3)+ .96 (16) = 1.32 TP
Day 2 -- free choice grass hay + 4 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.48 (4)+ .90 (15) = 1.38 TP
Day 3 -- free choice grass hay + 5 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.60 (5)+ .84 (14) = 1.44 TP
Day 4 -- free choice grass hay + 6 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.72 (6)+ .78 (13) = 1.50 TP
Day 5 -- free choice grass hay + 7 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.84 (7)+ .72 (12) = 1.56 TP
Day 6 -- free choice grass hay + 8 lbs of 13% ration (feed + hay = TP; 0.96 (8)+ .66 (11) = 1.62 TP
By day 7 you will be feeding your steer 8 lbs of 13% ration + free choice grass hay at at least 12% CP and 50% TDN
August 22 thru Sept 22 you should see an increase at minimum of 100 lbs of gain. (increased weight to 725)
Sept 23 to Oct 23 you need 1.7 TP
Increase the feed to 10 lbs and allow access for free choice grass hay or lower quality. (weight minimum of 825)
Oct 23 to Nov 23 you need 1.8 TP
Increase the feed to 11 lb and allow access for free choice grass hay of lower quality (weight minimum of 925)
Nov 23 thru Dec 23rd you need 1.8 TP
Feed 13 lbs of 13% ration which will = 1.56 TP and all access for free choice grass hay of lower quality (end of period gain to 1025 lbs)
Dec 23 thru Jan 23rd you will need 2.0 to 2.1 TP
Feed 15 lbs of 13% ration which is 1.8 TP and lower quality hay to finish weight.


Now calculate the digestible protein in this ration.
 

terra8186

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The original poster hasn't been on in more than a month. He must not have liked the first couple of answers.
 

QueenSidhe

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I would suggest trying different types of hay. Each bovine has their own preference.

Here are some different types that you might try, if you haven't already:

1. Timothy Hay (although OUR cattle will NOT eat it, I know of others who do).

2. Alfalfa Hay, best fed during winter. (If Alfalfa is present, our cattle will chose this hay over any other to eat and will ignore any other offered at the same time. When we are out of Alfalfa, sometimes they won't eat for a day or two in protest until they figure out what we are feeding is all they are going to get, then they will scarf down what we offer them). This hay will also help to increase the animal's body temperature, so is also a good choice for winter feeding for this reason.

3. Orchard Grass Hay, can be fed anytime of year, though also a good winter choice. (Orchard grass is our cattle's second favorite type of hay in preference for feeding).

4. Orchard Grass/Alfalfa Hay Mix, this is another option when your cattle prefer both Alfalfa and Orchard Grass. Its also a little bit less expensive, at least in our area.

5. Grass Hay, this is usually what is harvested in our area and usually comes from a 5 or 7 star mix of different types of hay that are planted in the hay field. (This is our cattles main staple of feed that we supply all year round, though we supplement with Alfalfa during the winter to help them keep their body temperatures up during the cold weather.)

Hope this helps.
 

novaman

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QueenSidhe":3se8ywdt said:
I would suggest trying different types of hay. Each bovine has their own preference.

Here are some different types that you might try, if you haven't already:

1. Timothy Hay (although OUR cattle will NOT eat it, I know of others who do).

2. Alfalfa Hay, best fed during winter. (If Alfalfa is present, our cattle will chose this hay over any other to eat and will ignore any other offered at the same time. When we are out of Alfalfa, sometimes they won't eat for a day or two in protest until they figure out what we are feeding is all they are going to get, then they will scarf down what we offer them). This hay will also help to increase the animal's body temperature, so is also a good choice for winter feeding for this reason.

3. Orchard Grass Hay, can be fed anytime of year, though also a good winter choice. (Orchard grass is our cattle's second favorite type of hay in preference for feeding).

4. Orchard Grass/Alfalfa Hay Mix, this is another option when your cattle prefer both Alfalfa and Orchard Grass. Its also a little bit less expensive, at least in our area.

5. Grass Hay, this is usually what is harvested in our area and usually comes from a 5 or 7 star mix of different types of hay that are planted in the hay field. (This is our cattles main staple of feed that we supply all year round, though we supplement with Alfalfa during the winter to help them keep their body temperatures up during the cold weather.)

Hope this helps.
If all cows were fed by their preference I think a lot of animals would be starving. The beef herd gets whatever we have on hand that year. Don't know many people who stock up according to animal preference.
 

grannysoo

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novaman":1kzw7iqn said:
If all cows were fed by their preference I think a lot of animals would be starving. The beef herd gets whatever we have on hand that year. Don't know many people who stock up according to animal preference.

You can get any kind of hay you want in our area as long as all you want is bermuda grass. :lol:
 

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