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Replacement for alfalfa in feed?

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cleland

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i grind my own feed to grow my yealing bulls on. I am currently looking using a mix of corn, alfalfa, soybean meal, and some minerals. On top of this ration I feed free choice grass hay. I came upon a deal this fall with a guy who had some alfalfa hay that had gotten wet but is still not bad at all, a little brown but no mold. I am looking for something to take the place of the alfalfa in my ratoin and feed the alfalfa free choice. In my ration I am not using the alfalfa for protein as I can get morn that I need from the sbm. Any suggestions on what I could use to ad some roughage and bulk fairly cheep? Not wanting to use Cotton seed hulls.
Thanks
Jeff
 

dun

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Angus Cowman":z64y4yzn said:
why dont you grind the grass hay in the mix that would be cheaper and add bulk
Exactly my thoughts
 

Howdyjabo

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why add roughage and bulk at all, since you are going to feed a hay free choice?
 

Limomike

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Howdyjabo":1o42szr9 said:
why add roughage and bulk at all, since you are going to feed a hay free choice?
Thats what I thought.. You already have the roughage, with the free choice hay. Are you just wanting more?? If so.. why?
 
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cleland

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I am wanting to add bulk to the feed to cheapen it a little bit, I can get the desired protien and energy levels that I am looking for with the corn and sbm. I just want something to mix it with other than cottonseed hulls or alfalfa that will be cheap. The reason that I am not grinding the grassy alfalfa hay that bought is that it is in round bales and i am grinding with a small grinder mixer.
 

Howdyjabo

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????? what is the point of cheapening it thru the grinder?
You are already cheapening it when you feed free choice hay- EVEN if its not mixed in.
just feed less feed with the hay.
If you want to cheapen it back off on the SBM - shouldn't need as much/any with the alfalfa hay
 

TexasBred

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cleland":3zlkho4x said:
I am wanting to add bulk to the feed to cheapen it a little bit, I can get the desired protien and energy levels that I am looking for with the corn and sbm. I just want something to mix it with other than cottonseed hulls or alfalfa that will be cheap. The reason that I am not grinding the grassy alfalfa hay that bought is that it is in round bales and i am grinding with a small grinder mixer.

Load it up with rice hulls. Little to no nutritional value but they will "bulk it up".
 

mnmtranching

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Unless you enjoy the extra labor of putting hay though a grinder, there is no other advantage of doing it when feeding free choice hay. When you limit the amount of grain, the cattle will fill up on the grass hay/alfalfa hay getting plenty of roughage. If the Alfalfa hay is of good quality I would cut back on the ground protein, why not hold the feed cost and labor down?
 

msscamp

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cleland":22gahujy said:
I am wanting to add bulk to the feed to cheapen it a little bit, I can get the desired protien and energy levels that I am looking for with the corn and sbm. I just want something to mix it with other than cottonseed hulls or alfalfa that will be cheap. The reason that I am not grinding the grassy alfalfa hay that bought is that it is in round bales and i am grinding with a small grinder mixer.

You might want to look at some type of straw. It will contribute a low protein level, as well as give you the bulk you're looking for. Personally, I think I would have the grass and alfalfa hay tested, adjust my 'feed' accordingly, and forget about adding bulk - but I don't like grinding feed.
 

rockridgecattle

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I have two questions:
1. do you have poor hay?
2. do you not have enough hay?

We live in a climate that is very cold. The cattle do well on grass hay or alfalfa grass hay or alfalfa hay. If the protien level is there that is all you should need.
all this other stuff contributes to a higher cost to feed the cows. At the cow prices we have now, best to cut where needed and save the bucks.

I'm with MssCamp on this one...get your hay tested and see what you need to do the job you need it to do. By the way, as a consumer for buying bulls, pushing them hard to grow faster than what they need to is hard on the bulls and they do not last as long, getting joint and leg problems. Not to mention, they loose a pile of weight on pasture any how.
If you want to cheapen the feed, toss out a bale of wild or slough hay for them.
 

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