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Supplementing Low quality hay

Fire Sweep Ranch

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I found some really cheap hay I could not pass up. 46 net wrapped bales, averaging 900 pounds, mixed grass, and tested at 10% protein and 45 TDN. But it was only $15 a bale DELIVERED! I pay $17 a bale to have MY grass baled, so I figured for that price I can supplement the hay to bring up the values. We will likely run short, thus why I bought more hay. For our open spring heifers, I think it is fine alone (they get a pasture creep daily, about 10 pounds per head per day to develope them). Anyway, for my fall pairs, what would be the best way to bring up the values on this hay for us? Last year we poured bales with a liquid feed, and that was a pain in the rear (pour an hour before putting them out, but that hay was really poor!). Someone shared with me that you can sprinkle a bag of DDG's over the top of it when you put it in the hay ring (DDG's go for about $9/cw here), and that sounds like it would not be to difficult. I am looking for other ideas.
We prefer to not unroll the bales, since there is a lot of waste. Any ideas out there that I am unfamiliar with?
 

1wlimo

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What is your good hay testing? May be mix the feeding to get a good average, poor hay one time, good the next to stop the boss cows from eating only good and push lower order cows to the poorer,
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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1wlimo":1904k7m0 said:
What is your good hay testing? May be mix the feeding to get a good average, poor hay one time, good the next to stop the boss cows from eating only good and push lower order cows to the poorer,

We have two different types of hay we are currently feeding, one tests at 14% the other at 13%. We put out two bales every other day, one of each (one is alfalfa and one is a good grass mix). Cows have two different hay feeders to go to, so no worry about boss cows pushing lower ranking cows out. We are feeding 30 cows in this group, and when we run out of what we have, we will have to switch to this hay (likely Feb or March). I do not want to lower my protein, since our cows calve from Sept to March, so some are new pairs and some are getting close to calving. Remember, we strictly AI or put in embryos, so I want a higher plane of nutrition. Our cows are NOT fat, but sit at 5 to 5.5 BCS. Some drop down to 4.5, none are over 6. I manage them pretty closely. I really have no easy way to separate into smaller groups, since we have just one water system in the trap pen where we put them over the winter when we are off grass.
So, WHEN I have to feed the lower quality hay, what can I do to bring it up? Right now, we are feeding it to our horses and spring heifers. They do not eat much! And the horses are doing nothing, so the low protein should work for them.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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Kingfisher":gwgou0y7 said:
Give em a bale and see how they take to it.

That does not work here. I am sure they will love it, like the horses do. However, the protein content tells me that a early lactating cow will LOSE WEIGHT eating this hay without supplementation. I do not want to lose body condition on my lactating cows, so I need to do more than just "give em a bale and see how they take to it", because I am sure they will eat it just fine! Poor nutrition does not negatively impact a herd until it is too late to make up the lost time. That is why we TEST everything that we feed, because I want to know that I am meeting the nutritional needs that my cattle need. A hay test is $17 here... well worth the data it gives me.
 

JMJ Farms

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10% CP hay is sufficient for dry cows here, but we probably don't get as cold as your area. TDN is a little low, but well worth $15. That's almost unbelievable. I'd supplement with some DDG or WCS. I have a neighbor who feeds protein out of a bag that's made by Vigortone. Never tried it myself but it works. Just seems expensive.
 

Ebenezer

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Supplement with a few pounds of some sort of pellet, cube or whatever. Cheaper than tubs and tubs will make them eat more hay.
 

TexasBred

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Fire Sweep Ranch":2xrrftue said:
I found some really cheap hay I could not pass up. 46 net wrapped bales, averaging 900 pounds, mixed grass, and tested at 10% protein and 45 TDN. But it was only $15 a bale DELIVERED! I pay $17 a bale to have MY grass baled, so I figured for that price I can supplement the hay to bring up the values. We will likely run short, thus why I bought more hay. For our open spring heifers, I think it is fine alone (they get a pasture creep daily, about 10 pounds per head per day to develope them). Anyway, for my fall pairs, what would be the best way to bring up the values on this hay for us? Last year we poured bales with a liquid feed, and that was a pain in the rear (pour an hour before putting them out, but that hay was really poor!). Someone shared with me that you can sprinkle a bag of DDG's over the top of it when you put it in the hay ring (DDG's go for about $9/cw here), and that sounds like it would not be to difficult. I am looking for other ideas.
We prt
Have you ever tried ammoniating hay?? Quite a few dairies down here do it. Stack it, cover with poly, seal the edges with tractor buckets of cow manure or dirt, then spray the contents of a tank of anhydrous ammonia into it. Cows love it and the anhydrous raises the protein and digestibility. Wish I knew how much they use per ton but can't remember.
 

jedstivers

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Ddg is costing me .08 a pound. I just found a load of corn gluten pellets that's a little off color for quite a bit less than that so I might go to it.
Cotton seed is cheap this year too.
Anyway low quaility is fine. Prol better when that cheap and supplemented with an additional protine choice.
Even your good hay will make it further if you feed somethings else. The trick is not buying 50lbs bags at the feed store. Markup is to great.
Ddg can go into the troughs or right on the ground. They will get every speck of it. I've never seen anything like it.
I'm feeding 3lbs a day to heavys right now. They come at a full run if they aren't waiting at the feed area. They still have good grazing too but I wanted to make it last and it has.
2lbs is prol all I need to be giving them but they had a bad summer and I want to make sure they don't have a bad winter.
Lot of other kinds of feeds out there too.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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TexasBred":3idsq0et said:
Have you ever tried ammoniating hay?? Quite a few dairies down here do it. Stack it, cover with poly, seal the edges with tractor buckets of cow manure or dirt, then spray the contents of a tank of anhydrous ammonia into it. Cows love it and the anhydrous raises the protein and digestibility. Wish I knew how much they use per ton but can't remember.

THANKS for reminding me of that option. I know the extension office has talked about it before, I will call them on Monday to see where I can get some of the stuff. Of course, I would need to buy a tarp.....
Question; can you feed it to horses once it has been treated?
Thanks TB

JMJ Farms":3idsq0et said:
10% CP hay is sufficient for dry cows here, but we probably don't get as cold as your area. TDN is a little low, but well worth $15. That's almost unbelievable. I'd supplement with some DDG or WCS. I have a neighbor who feeds protein out of a bag that's made by Vigortone. Never tried it myself but it works. Just seems expensive.
Yes, that is why I am feeding it to the horses and spring heifers (they each go through one round bale a week). However, my target for this hay will be the early lactating cows.
I am not sure how cost effective whole cottonseed would be. We have no cotton gins around,and I know I pay too much for the hulls to feed to the show heifers ($12 for a 40 pound bag of the stuff!). I will call the mill on Monday and see how much they cost. What is the average out there? The DDG is about 9 cents a pound out here.

Jed, we feed ddg's to cows that we plan on showing as a pair (not often, gets expensive). We make it wet and they gobble it up like candy and keep great condition for showing. The trap the cows are in for the winter does not have troughs, so my options are pouring it over a round bale when we put it out (on the top, dry of course), or pouring it on the ground (again, it is dry). I have a hard time feeding of the ground..... blame it on years of raising horses and dealing with worms and colic from them eating off the ground in small stalls

Thanks for the good ideas so far.
 

Caustic Burno

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Fire Sweep Ranch":1x844p9n said:
I found some really cheap hay I could not pass up. 46 net wrapped bales, averaging 900 pounds, mixed grass, and tested at 10% protein and 45 TDN. But it was only $15 a bale DELIVERED! I pay $17 a bale to have MY grass baled, so I figured for that price I can supplement the hay to bring up the values. We will likely run short, thus why I bought more hay. For our open spring heifers, I think it is fine alone (they get a pasture creep daily, about 10 pounds per head per day to develope them). Anyway, for my fall pairs, what would be the best way to bring up the values on this hay for us? Last year we poured bales with a liquid feed, and that was a pain in the rear (pour an hour before putting them out, but that hay was really poor!). Someone shared with me that you can sprinkle a bag of DDG's over the top of it when you put it in the hay ring (DDG's go for about $9/cw here), and that sounds like it would not be to difficult. I am looking for other ideas.
We prefer to not unroll the bales, since there is a lot of waste. Any ideas out there that I am unfamiliar with?
Just watch your cow shyt literally if they start making tall piles they are not getting enough protein . Digest ability is another issue as TB pointed out another cheap way to improve consumption without effecting digestabilty is CSM which is cheap. If you feed to high protein mix of CSM it will reduce digestabilty lots of data out there on feedlot with CSM and the results.
 

Bigfoot

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It would be cheaper, and considerably easier to just buy low quality hay and supplement it, than it would be to raise good hay. Plus, you could convert your hay ground to permanent pasture, and raise more cows.
 

Lucky_P

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firesweep,
Just a word on the worms/feeding on the ground deal. Somebody fed you misinformation.

Your cows/horses do not pick up worms - for the most part - from eating feed off the ground. Coccidia, perhaps, but not worms.
The vast majority of economically-important nematode parasites that infect(and affect) grazing animals are ingested on forages while the animals are grazing. The infective larvae 'swim' up the moisture film (dew, rain) on the grass and are ingested as the animals graze.
A horse or cow in a stall or dry lot consuming only hay and purchased feed is pretty much going to be 'worm-free'.
 

slick4591

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Don't know many in my area that bother to test hay and my hay guy sure doesn't. I started out feeding a liquid feed (32%) and my cows stay in good condition all year, lactating or not. I don't worry about keeping the tank full in the summer, but it never goes empty in the winter.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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Lucky_P":1o8ehf4y said:
firesweep,
Just a word on the worms/feeding on the ground deal. Somebody fed you misinformation.

Your cows/horses do not pick up worms - for the most part - from eating feed off the ground. Coccidia, perhaps, but not worms.
The vast majority of economically-important nematode parasites that infect(and affect) grazing animals are ingested on forages while the animals are grazing. The infective larvae 'swim' up the moisture film (dew, rain) on the grass and are ingested as the animals graze.
A horse or cow in a stall or dry lot consuming only hay and purchased feed is pretty much going to be 'worm-free'.
Funny you say that. When I was a kid, we showed Paints. All of our horses were kept in box stalls and 24 x 24 pipe corrals, so dry lots. My best mare had to be wormed every 12 weeks, because she had strongyles often. We know this because we did a fecal count on her several times a year. She never saw a blade of grass in her life when we showed her (but we did buy as a yearling off pasture), her diet was strictly managed. But our vet at that time said they eat off the ground, picking around their fecal material, and re infest. He told us unless we pick up every plop when it hits the ground, reinfestation was inevitable.
A funny story.... my mom accidently wormed her a few days before a show (right after we bought her, we were new). While at the show, she lifted her tail (while my trainer was getting ready to take her into her halter class) and pooped. It was LOADED with the strongyles (looked like a pile of spaghetti in her manure). My trainer was so embarrassed, she quickly moved the mare away (so no one would know the mare she was holding is the one who left the pile)... then looked back over to the pile and started telling her juniors that a horse that left that pile should be easy to spot; thin, coarse hair, and unthrifty looking (using it as a learning experience). My mare was none of those, you would have never guessed she was full of worms! :lol:
By the way, I owned that mare for 29 years, and those were the best 29 years of my life! She is now buried in my favorite pasture, under a big walnut tree, and we call the pasture "Silly's pasture". Her name was Silly, and her end years were spent happily in a pasture, eating grass, just like the first 9 months of her life before we bought her. She was the best animal I have ever owned, period!
 

Margonme

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Re: Strongylida

Nematodes are such a diverse group of invertebrates, generalizations are difficult. Since strongyles have a direct life history. They could reinfect your horse in a stable.

The typical life history of the hookworms, strongyles, and trichostrongyles is direct, i.e., there is no intermediate host involved in the life cycle. Eggs are passed in the feces that develop and hatch in the soil to produce larvae. The larvae then develop to an infective third-stage larva which often maintains the second-stage larval cuticle as a protective sheath. Infection with hookworms is often through the skin, infections with strongyles and trichostrongyles is typically through the ingestion of the larvae. In the case of metastrongyles, the stage passed in the feces is typically a first-stage larva that requires a molluscan intermediate host (snail or slug) for the development of the larva to the infective third-stage larva.

In a pen like your horse was stabled, the eggs would have to hatch into the larval stage before infection could occur. The horse cannot be reinfected by simply ingesting the egg. The hay would have to act as the medium for the egg to hatch into the larva.
 

TexasBred

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Bigfoot":3991c0zi said:
It would be cheaper, and considerably easier to just buy low quality hay and supplement it, than it would be to raise good hay. Plus, you could convert your hay ground to permanent pasture, and raise more cows.
AND not have all that expensive haying equipment sitting idle most of the year.
 

Caustic Burno

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TexasBred":3psog194 said:
Bigfoot":3psog194 said:
It would be cheaper, and considerably easier to just buy low quality hay and supplement it, than it would be to raise good hay. Plus, you could convert your hay ground to permanent pasture, and raise more cows.
AND not have all that expensive haying equipment sitting idle most of the year.
Yep your both right and that is exactly what I did is sold hay equipment.
BP went down immediately.
 

Margonme

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Caustic Burno":2k4wv9t3 said:
TexasBred":2k4wv9t3 said:
Bigfoot":2k4wv9t3 said:
It would be cheaper, and considerably easier to just buy low quality hay and supplement it, than it would be to raise good hay. Plus, you could convert your hay ground to permanent pasture, and raise more cows.
AND not have all that expensive haying equipment sitting idle most of the year.
Yep your both right and that is exactly what I did is sold hay equipment.
BP went down immediately.


I agree. There are factors:
1. Availability of hay.
2. Moving hay- Difficult on our narrow roads.
3. Quality with regard to bringing in weeds and foreign debris in hay.
 

Caustic Burno

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Margonme":3k9zzw3w said:
Caustic Burno":3k9zzw3w said:
TexasBred":3k9zzw3w said:
AND not have all that expensive haying equipment sitting idle most of the year.
Yep your both right and that is exactly what I did is sold hay equipment.
BP went down immediately.


I agree. There are factors:
1. Availability of hay.
2. Moving hay- Difficult on our narrow roads.
3. Quality with regard to bringing in weeds and foreign debris in hay.


Not really still lease the same hay field I have for years.
Just got rid of the headache all it takes is three pounds of feed a day to satisfy a cows nutrition needs now I need 27 pounds to fill her up
 

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