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oat hay value?

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angus9259

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I just bought some oat hay from my regular guy. It was a new seeding cover crop (over alfalfa and timothy). He said the oats were in "early boot" stage and that the alfalfa and timothy were about 8-10" tall. No weeds.

Anyone ever feed oat hay? Looks decent. A little stalky maybe. He said it's really good cattle hay. I bought a couple truckloads. Price was decent for our area. Thoughts?
 

skyhightree1

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angus9259":2wlmq1tq said:
I just bought some oat hay from my regular guy. It was a new seeding cover crop (over alfalfa and timothy). He said the oats were in "early boot" stage and that the alfalfa and timothy were about 8-10" tall. No weeds.

Anyone ever feed oat hay? Looks decent. A little stalky maybe. He said it's really good cattle hay. I bought a couple truckloads. Price was decent for our area. Thoughts?

TB will chime in but I raise oat hay every year for mine they love it.
 

elkwc

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From my experience it is either really good or bad and no in between. It all depends on when it was put up and how. Good oat hay is as good as there is. We bought 24 bales in the late winter to get us through to green grass. It was late March. The cows didn't like it at all. Preferred the old wheat hay that has rotten netting and 4 years old. IMO it is best if swathed just before it emerges the boot or just as it does. If left until the grains starts filling it is too late. And that we got this year was in the filling stage.
 

sim.-ang.king

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If your cows will eat it, then they will do good on it. If it has alfalfa and timothy mixed in, it will be really good feed.
He got it at the right stage too. Some leave it till milk, or dough stage, but I prefer boot, or flowering when I do wheat hay.
I know wheat hay is in the 9-10% protein range, if I remember right oat is the same, or a little higher.
 

farmerjan

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We fed oat hay years ago when it was available. The cows and sheep loved it. My son and I were discussing maybe trying to grow some next year, as we have a field that we are planning to renovate. Made right it is good hay, especially with the alfalfa mixed in. I like timothy hay but it doesn't seem to do good here in this area. Had alot of it up north in CT and further up. Used to feed the timothy to my horse.
 

Silver

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Stocker Steve":rnazozl9 said:
Protein and palatability drop fast as it matures.
Timing of cut is key for quality.
Test it and report back.

Less protein, but more energy. Less palatable as it matures also. Cows will eat it after they pick the grain out first. Calves would rather just pick the grain out. Makes great baleage when cut in the dough stage, they will all clean it up.
Also, if you are going to cut it in the boot stage you better plan on doubling your seeding rate if you want any volume.
 

greybeard

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In Texas, TAMU says:
 

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