Self limiting feed

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350farms

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I am looking for opinions on what the best self limiting feed would be. For the last 6 years I have wintered my cows on grass hay and accuration 5% blocks. The cows have done well and I have no complaints on performance. The complaint I do have is the steady increase in cost. With everything else going up, I need to try to make adjustments this year to make sure there is still something left over at the end of the day. I enjoy working my cows, but I don’t do it for the practice.
So all that being said, I am looking at the accuration liquid feed, and the accuration range meal to mix with grain.
I have no experience with either of these so any of your input would be appreciated.
 
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350farms

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Does your hay quality require you to give them something more? My cows graze 11 months of the year and get hay the 12th month. Only thing added is good mineral.
Kenny
What does your hay test at? Historically mine has always been low.
 

Caustic Burno

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I am looking for opinions on what the best self limiting feed would be. For the last 6 years I have wintered my cows on grass hay and accuration 5% blocks. The cows have done well and I have no complaints on performance. The complaint I do have is the steady increase in cost. With everything else going up, I need to try to make adjustments this year to make sure there is still something left over at the end of the day. I enjoy working my cows, but I don’t do it for the practice.
So all that being said, I am looking at the accuration liquid feed, and the accuration range meal to mix with grain.
I have no experience with either of these so any of your input would be appreciated.
I am feeding 2-1-1 range meal right now due to drowned grass. Grass has absolutely no nutritional value at this time it’s just filler.
2-1-1 is two parts corn one CSM and one salt. Blend comes out to 14% protein and cows limit themselves to about four pounds a day.
 

Brute 23

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Brute 23 - what do you winter yours with?
With out knowing your general area it will be hard for any one to make applicable, suggestions.

We are on the southern gulf coast of Texas so our winters can be pretty mild. I am currently still fine tuning our winter strategy.

In general though I'm trying to stockpile as much grass as possible going in to winter. I've finally gotten on a good, bulk liquid feed to get away from tubs. That was a big savings.

Secondly, we have started using whole cottonseed to cut back one the cubes, salt meals, or basically any thing out of a sack. Jury is out on this is actually saving money or just giving us more bang for the buck.

We are hoping stockpiling grass will help do away with a large majority of the hay. That is one of the largest cost in our operation. It appears cheap on the surface but the equipment costs and risk to produce, move, store hay is becoming uneconomical. We will not get 100% away from hay but we are focusing on keeping less on hand, but higher quality.

We have stated fertilizing pasture to help with the quality and quantity of the grass. This seems to be a worthwhile investment to not have to purchase feed or put out hay.

The plan is still evolving and in a test phase for us so take it for what it's worth.
 
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350farms

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With out knowing your general area it will be hard for any one to make applicable, suggestions.

We are on the southern gulf coast of Texas so our winters can be pretty mild. I am currently still fine tuning our winter strategy.

In general though I'm trying to stockpile as much grass as possible going in to winter. I've finally gotten on a good, bulk liquid feed to get away from tubs. That was a big savings.

Secondly, we have started using whole cottonseed to cut back one the cubes, salt meals, or basically any thing out of a sack. Jury is out on this is actually saving money or just giving us more bang for the buck.

We are hoping stockpiling grass will help do away with a large majority of the hay. That is one of the largest cost in our operation. It appears cheap on the surface but the equipment costs and risk to produce, move, store hay is becoming uneconomical. We will not get 100% away from hay but we are focusing on keeping less on hand, but higher quality.

We have stated fertilizing pasture to help with the quality and quantity of the grass. This seems to be a worthwhile investment to not have to purchase feed or put out hay.

The plan is still evolving and in a test phase for us so take it for what it's worth.
I’m dead center of Louisiana, probably not as mild of winters as you but not a lot of difference.
 
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350farms

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I’ve tried a good bit over the years, but my job now has me tied up until after dark during the week, which makes hand feeding every day pretty tough. That is why I swapped to the accuration blocks. I paid for the convenience, but now the price has forced me to find a better alternative.
 
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350farms

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So basically if I’m understanding you guys correct - you put up the best hay you can and don’t supplement with anything.
I know the old adage we’ve always done it this way is the expensive way, but I’ve never gone thru a winter without supplementary feed.
Thank you for your input, it definitely gives me another option to consider.
 

kenny thomas

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So basically if I’m understanding you guys correct - you put up the best hay you can and don’t supplement with anything.
I know the old adage we’ve always done it this way is the expensive way, but I’ve never gone thru a winter without supplementary feed.
Thank you for your input, it definitely gives me another option to consider.
Thats how I do it. Any cows that can't handle that management gets sold.
But as I said I only feed hay for about a month. If it snows I do give them a little hay until the snow is gone. Usually within a day or two.
 

1982vett

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Just a little winter pasture will fill the gap on lesser quality hay. (Not talking about 6 - 8 % hay or bedding). Cost of establishing winter pasture and unpredictable fall rain patterns adds a certain amount of risk here. To the point I haven’t put a plow in the ground in 5 or 6 years. I now rely on gulf coast ryegrass and native winter grass that come back every year.

Now another piece of this puzzle is stocking rate.... do not overstock your pastures. Keep in mind, your stocking rate is far less than your fertilizer, seed, fuel, feed and equipment salesmen will tell you.
 

Brute 23

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We had good results with the stock piles grass and liquid feed. Even as dry as it was it cut our feed time down significantly. The liquid feed is easy and hands free as it gets. You make a call and poof... it's there. 😄

Not sure if the wcs is available in your area but we saw good results just feeding it as little as once a week. If you could line it up on the weekends it might work.

My goal is to only put hay out if its below freezing or if we pen up cattle or some thing of that nature.
 

Caustic Burno

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We had good results with the stock piles grass and liquid feed. Even as dry as it was it cut our feed time down significantly. The liquid feed is easy and hands free as it gets. You make a call and poof... it's there. 😄

Not sure if the wcs is available in your area but we saw good results just feeding it as little as once a week. If you could line it up on the weekends it might work.

My goal is to only put hay out if its below freezing or if we pen up cattle or some thing of that nature.
Liquid feed is great if you have forage or plenty of hay.
It’s a disaster if you’re short on hay with no forage.
 

ccr

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We use a tank of liquid feed in the winter with stockpiled pasture grass. Put it out in front of the house during breeding and we can see who is getting bred. This year we took the top off, as we usually do, so the cattle can get that last little bit in the bottom of the tank. Calves jumped in and cracked the bottom.
 

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