to feed or not to feed, that is the question

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stockbub

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On, so if protein is all that "could" be needed. Can get straight rice bran for $170 a ton. What about just supplement3 - 5 lbs of that.
 

-XBAR-

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TB,
What is the lowest % protein and minimum TDN hay you can feed to lactating cows without needing to supplement? I've been feeding about 3lbs cottonseed cubes/hd/day along with free choice hay and my cows are in good shape. I'm awaiting the hay test #s and I'd like to know whether the cubes are necessary to keep them in the condition they're in now. You're extremely helpful when youre not attacking the strawman. Thank you.
 

cross_7

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I'm not TB but I'll give my 2 cents
It depends on the size of the cow, milking ablity, weather(rain, snow, temp, wind) and etc
Total protein needs to be anywhere from 2.0 -3.0
But lets say on "average" a cow needs around 2.5 total protein
25 pounds of hay at 10% is 2.5 total protein
There are lots of variables but I would say 10% is about as low as you could go on lactating cows and not lose body condition
 

Brute 23

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Unless i missed some thing... The guy in this case has plenty of hay. To buy feed would be double dipping. Its not like he is rationing thru drought.
 

-XBAR-

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Brute 23":3ua8gxqb said:
Unless i missed some thing... The guy in this case has plenty of hay. To buy feed would be double dipping. Its not like he is rationing thru drought.
The question is whether or not the hay he has is high enough protein and TDN to not have to supplement. If it is not high enough, supplementing would not be double dipping but necessary.
 

B&M Farms

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Using a high protein supplement will usually make cows eat more low quality hay in my experience therefore utilizing the hay better. I'm not an expert but I wouldn't think a 8 percent protein hay would have a very high TDN either.
 

TexasBred

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-XBAR-":13irwwli said:
TB,
What is the lowest % protein and minimum TDN hay you can feed to lactating cows without needing to supplement? I've been feeding about 3lbs cottonseed cubes/hd/day along with free choice hay and my cows are in good shape. I'm awaiting the hay test #s and I'd like to know whether the cubes are necessary to keep them in the condition they're in now. You're extremely helpful when youre not attacking the strawman. Thank you.
-X- mature cattle can get along well on 7-9% crude protein hay as long as there are no demands on them other than simply maintaining their own condition. Lactating cattle need a higher quality hay in order to raise a calf, maintain body condition and breed back....lots of variables to consider. I too feed some cottonseed cubes, not so much that they need the protein but they can certainly use the additional energy from the cubes. Lower quality hay may need more energy supplementation than protein supplementation as they burn more calories trying to digest the lower quality hay and end up with a negative energy balance thus lower production and lower ability to maintain body condition. 3-4 lbs. of shell corn would work even better but requires bunk space which I dont' have.
 

TexasBred

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cross_7":2ua63v4q said:
I'm not TB but I'll give my 2 cents
It depends on the size of the cow, milking ablity, weather(rain, snow, temp, wind) and etc
Total protein needs to be anywhere from 2.0 -3.0
But lets say on "average" a cow needs around 2.5 total protein
25 pounds of hay at 10% is 2.5 total protein
There are lots of variables but I would say 10% is about as low as you could go on lactating cows and not lose body condition
True cross but they key word you used is "lactating". It doesn't matter how much a cow "wants" to eat if it's so undigestible she simply cannot eat as much as she wants she quits eating, thus the need for a higher quality hay. Not just protein but also TDN, ADF, NDF. It's no different than you and me. If I'm going to sit here and watch TV everyday all I need is a bowl of cereal and not a very big one at that. If I plan to run a marathon tomorrow, I need to be on a totally different diet with adequate protein but loaded with calories but I don't need to be fat. Simply loaded with energy for performance. (milk, breeding and maintenance)
 

Limomike

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TexasBred":1o7xejd0 said:
cross_7":1o7xejd0 said:
I'm not TB but I'll give my 2 cents
It depends on the size of the cow, milking ablity, weather(rain, snow, temp, wind) and etc
Total protein needs to be anywhere from 2.0 -3.0
But lets say on "average" a cow needs around 2.5 total protein
25 pounds of hay at 10% is 2.5 total protein
There are lots of variables but I would say 10% is about as low as you could go on lactating cows and not lose body condition
True cross but they key word you used is "lactating". It doesn't matter how much a cow "wants" to eat if it's so undigestible she simply cannot eat as much as she wants she quits eating, thus the need for a higher quality hay. Not just protein but also TDN, ADF, NDF. It's no different than you and me. If I'm going to sit here and watch TV everyday all I need is a bowl of cereal and not a very big one at that. If I plan to run a marathon tomorrow, I need to be on a totally different diet with adequate protein but loaded with calories but I don't need to be fat. Simply loaded with energy for performance. (milk, breeding and maintenance)
I wish my cows would just sit and watch TV.. wouldnt have to feed them as much..and give em a bowl of popcorn every other movie.. :lol2:
all I know is my cows all have a 5-6 condition score, and they are eating up the protein lick tubs faster than I have ever seen.
I have talked to most folks around here, and due to the drought conditions, seems like the hay quality isnt as it usually is, hence the increase in protein intake.
 

cross_7

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TexasBred":2firuq06 said:
cross_7":2firuq06 said:
I'm not TB but I'll give my 2 cents
It depends on the size of the cow, milking ablity, weather(rain, snow, temp, wind) and etc
Total protein needs to be anywhere from 2.0 -3.0
But lets say on "average" a cow needs around 2.5 total protein
25 pounds of hay at 10% is 2.5 total protein
There are lots of variables but I would say 10% is about as low as you could go on lactating cows and not lose body condition
True cross but they key word you used is "lactating". It doesn't matter how much a cow "wants" to eat if it's so undigestible she simply cannot eat as much as she wants she quits eating, thus the need for a higher quality hay. Not just protein but also TDN, ADF, NDF. It's no different than you and me. If I'm going to sit here and watch TV everyday all I need is a bowl of cereal and not a very big one at that. If I plan to run a marathon tomorrow, I need to be on a totally different diet with adequate protein but loaded with calories but I don't need to be fat. Simply loaded with energy for performance. (milk, breeding and maintenance)

Protein and tdn go hand and hand for the most part.
Lower protein is going to be lower tdn
Higher protein is going to be higher tdn
 

TexasBred

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cross_7":15wt35di said:
Protein and tdn go hand and hand for the most part.
Lower protein is going to be lower tdn
Higher protein is going to be higher tdn

Not at all...as -x- said "corn"...8% protein but TDN of 80%. Feather meal 80% protein 60% TDN. Think "calories". ;-)
 

cross_7

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TexasBred":1r2lwyj8 said:
cross_7":1r2lwyj8 said:
Protein and tdn go hand and hand for the most part.
Lower protein is going to be lower tdn
Higher protein is going to be higher tdn

Not at all...as -x- said "corn"...8% protein but TDN of 80%. Feather meal 80% protein 60% TDN. Think "calories". ;-)

We were talking hay.
Grains are a different deal
 

TexasBred

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cross_7":2w5yk3ks said:
TexasBred":2w5yk3ks said:
cross_7":2w5yk3ks said:
Protein and tdn go hand and hand for the most part.
Lower protein is going to be lower tdn
Higher protein is going to be higher tdn

Not at all...as -x- said "corn"...8% protein but TDN of 80%. Feather meal 80% protein 60% TDN. Think "calories". ;-)

We were talking hay.
Grains are a different deal


Same for hay. Protein is no indication of TDN or energy.
 

B&M Farms

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cross_7":880amh3k said:
Same for hay. Protein is no indication of TDN or energy.

I can't seem to think of any hay that has high protein but low low tdn
Help me out
:nod: TB I have agreed with most anything you have ever said about feeding cattle but every cutting of any Bermuda grass I have tested, TDN and protein went up and down together and depended on variety, fertilizer, rainfall amounts, temperature and most important how much time between cuttings. Another type of hay could be different I guess.
 

dcara

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I copied this old post from a thread on comparing tubs

I believe that that if you are feeding protein then what you really want to know is what is the cost per pound of protein you are paying. For poured tubs the dry matter basis is about 75%. I'm not sure what it is for cooked tubs but if we assume it is the same and that the cooking just hardens it then from Alan's data we have $96.5/(0.38*225*0.75)=$1.50 per lb of protein. For B we have $62/(0.16*250*0.75)=$2.07 per lb of protein, and for C we have $50/(0.20*200*0.75)=$1.67 per lb of protein.

Compare this to the following
Range cubes = 20% protein, 90%DM and $7.44/50lb = $0.83 per lb of protein (of course this is not free choice)
2+1 range meal (2 salt + 1 CSM) = 27.7% protein, 95%DM and 8.57/50lb = $0.65 per lb of protein (this is free choice)
Alfalfa hay = 17% protein, 89%DM and $170/ton = $0.56 per lb of protein

Costs may be different in your area but you get the idea. The same equation applies to TDN
 

dun

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dcara":1kyheib1 said:
I copied this old post from a thread on comparing tubs

I believe that that if you are feeding protein then what you really want to know is what is the cost per pound of protein you are paying. For poured tubs the dry matter basis is about 75%. I'm not sure what it is for cooked tubs but if we assume it is the same and that the cooking just hardens it then from Alan's data we have $96.5/(0.38*225*0.75)=$1.50 per lb of protein. For B we have $62/(0.16*250*0.75)=$2.07 per lb of protein, and for C we have $50/(0.20*200*0.75)=$1.67 per lb of protein.

Compare this to the following
Range cubes = 20% protein, 90%DM and $7.44/50lb = $0.83 per lb of protein (of course this is not free choice)
2+1 range meal (2 salt + 1 CSM) = 27.7% protein, 95%DM and 8.57/50lb = $0.65 per lb of protein (this is free choice)
Alfalfa hay = 17% protein, 89%DM and $170/ton = $0.56 per lb of protein

Costs may be different in your area but you get the idea. The same equation applies to TDN
Feeding tubs versus other forms of protein supplement is like the difference between having a pizza delivered or picking it up yourself. Convenience costs!
 

TexasBred

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B&M Farms":63gjkpt7 said:
TB I have agreed with most anything you have ever said about feeding cattle but every cutting of any Bermuda grass I have tested, TDN and protein went up and down together and depended on variety, fertilizer, rainfall amounts, temperature and most important how much time between cuttings. Another type of hay could be different I guess.

That can be true B&M if you're comparing the various cuttings of the same grass off the same field...but you can have low quality alfalfa with an 18% protein with a 50 TDN and 12% sudan with a TDN of 60% also...the same applies to many other types of hay. The same applies to grains or protein sources. Protein, TDN and Energy are not always directly proportional. There is not much we can do with the hay we have other than try to make sure it is as good as possible. We can supplement the diet of hay however and it does not always require high protein supplementation. It could be nothing more than a few pounds of corn. Look at Feedlots rations...they feed energy. Yes I know if you multiply the lbs. of feed per day by the crude protein level they do consume a lot of protein units but even more importantly they consume a huge number of calories. That is where they get "production".The crude protein number on your hay test results does not give you the entire story on your hay.
 

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