Trying to figure it out

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dun

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Warm season grasses (big and little bluestem and side oats grama) are supposed to be really palatable and great summer grazing. Ours right now is growing well and is around 18" to 24" tall. Last year we baled it and the cows wouldn;t eat it over the winter, picked at it and prefered gleaning anything else they could find to eat. Turned them into the WSG this year for grazing, yesterday they pushed through a rickety section of old barbed wire fence to get into the headed out field of mixed orchard grass and fescue that was 3 foot tall and really rank. If this WSG is supposed to be cow candy why do they prefer the old crappy fescue stuff? A couple of years ago we had the same thing when we turned them into a lespedeza field, the idiots almost starved cause they wouldn;t eat it.
 

plumber_greg

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Dun, I have put up 80 acres of original praire hay for the last three years. Never had a plow in it. My family has owned it forever, and my uncle always hayed it and advised me on how and when. Timing is critical when cutting it, cuz' one head and the cows treat it like wheat straw. Here my normal time to cut is about July 15, may be later this year cuz' of rain and cool weather. In 1980 my uncle broke his leg and I chored all winter for him. He was in the hospital when I decided to winter pasture the praire grass. The cows ate the fescue around the fence to the dirt, and would have starved to death before eating the praire grass, so I don't know about pasturing it, but people around here have planted it for pasture. As far as hay goes, I'll trade my brome and clover for praire put up right. The cows seem to me to stay warmer in bad weather when eating it, and in a bale ring it's the first to go. The puzzling part of it to me is fertilizer is a waste of money, it just does nothing for it and the production is always about the same. gs
 

BeefmasterB

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dun":1o299zoj said:
Warm season grasses (big and little bluestem and side oats grama) are supposed to be really palatable and great summer grazing. Ours right now is growing well and is around 18" to 24" tall. Last year we baled it and the cows wouldn;t eat it over the winter, picked at it and prefered gleaning anything else they could find to eat. Turned them into the WSG this year for grazing, yesterday they pushed through a rickety section of old barbed wire fence to get into the headed out field of mixed orchard grass and fescue that was 3 foot tall and really rank. If this WSG is supposed to be cow candy why do they prefer the old crappy fescue stuff? A couple of years ago we had the same thing when we turned them into a lespedeza field, the idiots almost starved cause they wouldn;t eat it.


I wonder if that orchard grass/fescue was sweeter, maybe.
 

Douglas

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I have the opposite problem, if there is a sprig of crabgrass any where i can't get my cows to eat k31 fescue.
Even right after making hay and you would think in would be tender they avoid it. Now my new maxq fescue i seeded last fall is the candy, they eat it so fast it the goes right throught them.
 
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dun

dun

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plumber_greg":2i1dkr7o said:
Dun, I have put up 80 acres of original praire hay for the last three years. Never had a plow in it. My family has owned it forever, and my uncle always hayed it and advised me on how and when. Timing is critical when cutting it, cuz' one head and the cows treat it like wheat straw. Here my normal time to cut is about July 15, may be later this year cuz' of rain and cool weather. In 1980 my uncle broke his leg and I chored all winter for him. He was in the hospital when I decided to winter pasture the praire grass. The cows ate the fescue around the fence to the dirt, and would have starved to death before eating the praire grass, so I don't know about pasturing it, but people around here have planted it for pasture. As far as hay goes, I'll trade my brome and clover for praire put up right. The cows seem to me to stay warmer in bad weather when eating it, and in a bale ring it's the first to go. The puzzling part of it to me is fertilizer is a waste of money, it just does nothing for it and the production is always about the same. gs

A few years ago a friend of mine had a bunch of Grama grass that he let me try out when we were out of hay. Cows wouldn;t touch it but his ate it like candy. I'm half tempted to either plant it to alfalfa or just bite the bullet and plant fescue and OG.
 
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dun

dun

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Just talked with our grassland specilest. She says the cows just aren;t used to the stuff. She used the analogy of going to someplace that would try to serve a bat to eat. Since I'm not used to it I would turn it down for the salmonella laden tyson chicken since that's familiar even though the bat would be healthier. Tried monkey, horse, cat, dog and a few other things that couldn;t be identified (or admitted to what the were), but I think she's right about the bat vs chicken. She figures it will take them some time but will develop a taste for it.
 

BeefmasterB

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dun":34zwk2rj said:
Just talked with our grassland specilest. She says the cows just aren;t used to the stuff. She used the analogy of going to someplace that would try to serve a bat to eat. Since I'm not used to it I would turn it down for the salmonella laden tyson chicken since that's familiar even though the bat would be healthier. Tried monkey, horse, cat, dog and a few other things that couldn;t be identified (or admitted to what the were), but I think she's right about the bat vs chicken. She figures it will take them some time but will develop a taste for it.


Makes sense, Dun! "Salmonella laden Tyson chicken"? And to think I just put out some chicken to thaw out for dinner tonight. Just lost my appetite. Guess I better try HD's quiche recipe instead. :lol2:
 

Steve Wilson

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After about 6 years, we lost our hunting lease this past fall, on a 1200 acre farm up near Kirksville, Mo. They had a pasture in big and little blue stem. He told me once that the cattle near starved to death on it. Asked him when he turned them in on it? Well, winter of course? Ahhhh, not when it was nice and palatable, but after it was course, dead and stemmy.

Can't help you on this one Dun.
 

mnmtranching

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I'm just wondering? We're on the edge of the tall grass prairie country. Big Blue Stem, Little Blue Stem, Blue Gramma, Switch, western Wheat, Side Oats etc. I really like the native prairie grasses and have re seeded it in areas. I don't see an advantage what so ever other the esthetics. Slow to get going [warm season] then gets steamy. Most of these grasses have a hard stem and the most palatable part of the plant is low, to low for the mower. Cattle have to learn to graze close to the ground, something like the Buffalo.
Anyway, Why did the early sod busters plant non-native grasses for their forage?
 

kenny thomas

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Dun, I have read several articles about training the cows to eat weeds. Says the cow teaches the calf to eat them. Maybe a learned thing that takes a few generations. One more plus for fescue.
 

Limomike

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Dun,
All I know is, my cattle will NOT eat lespedeeza unless it is cut and dried (hay of course); otherwise, they just pass it on by. Fescue they will always eat... no matter what. Same with the clover. But, I got a friend of mine who says his cattle wont even touch his clover, so go figure. :shock:
 
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dun

dun

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1982vett":bi0t697f said:
I'd say, if a cow won't eat something, she isn't hungry yet.

The grass person said "You just have those low maintenece cool season grass kind of girls". Could be she's right. They're picking at the stuff but sure aren;t eating it all that seriously yet.
 

dyates

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kenny thomas":2btzkx7f said:
Dun, I have read several articles about training the cows to eat weeds. Says the cow teaches the calf to eat them. Maybe a learned thing that takes a few generations. One more plus for fescue.

My cows eat more weeds than some other herds. Maybe they learned it from the goat? I can rotate into a new pasture and the first thing they do is start eating the tops out of the weeds. FIL's place is being overrun by bush honeysuckle, but our cows have nearly wiped out any honesuckle they can reach. They even pinch a few buds out of the multiflora rose. 'Bout the only thing's I've found they won't touch are thistles and sericea lespedeza. They won't ever get all the weeds, but they do eat more than I would have imagined without seeing it.
 

novatech

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I have an old hay field that I decided to let go back to natives after a flood wiped it out. It has bluestem, johnson, dallas, eastern gramma, bahia, grass burr, blood weed and bremuda, and of course various other weeds. The cattle hit the johnson first.then they go for the bluestem, eastern gramma, bahia, dallas grass and grass burr along with the blood weed. They have even eaten most all the weeds other than rag weed. The last thing they will eat is the bremuda. Pretty much the same as what the deer select.
I have thought abought poisoning out the bremuda and planting more of the natives as it would allow me to rotate better and keep the common bremuda from taking over.
I haven't seen Bluestem on the boards for a while. He was full of good info. when it came to these questions.
 

BeefmasterB

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novatech":3puur71z said:
I have an old hay field that I decided to let go back to natives after a flood wiped it out. It has bluestem, johnson, dallas, eastern gramma, bahia, grass burr, blood weed and bremuda, and of course various other weeds. The cattle hit the johnson first.then they go for the bluestem, eastern gramma, bahia, dallas grass and grass burr along with the blood weed. They have even eaten most all the weeds (this is evidence that the Brahman breed evolved from goats )other than rag weed. The last thing they will eat is the bremuda. Pretty much the same as what the deer select.
I have thought abought poisoning out the bremuda :help: and planting more of the natives as it would allow me to rotate better and keep the common bremuda from taking over.
I haven't seen Bluestem on the boards for a while. He was full of good info. when it came to these questions.
 

novatech

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BeefmasterB":3qb50opm said:
(this is evidence that the Brahman breed evolved from goats )]
If it doesn't rain pretty soon I may be trying to revert them back. What the drought doesn't get the grasshoppers eat. Maybe you could come up with a chicken cow or a guinea cow to eat them. Right now that would be efficient. :lol2:
 

1982vett

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novatech":2tdgdaew said:
BeefmasterB":2tdgdaew said:
(this is evidence that the Brahman breed evolved from goats )]
If it doesn't rain pretty soon I may be trying to revert them back. What the drought doesn't get the grasshoppers eat. Maybe you could come up with a chicken cow or a guinea cow to eat them. Right now that would be efficient. :lol2:
You must be in pretty good shape to be able to support grasshoppers. :p
 

novatech

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1982vett":2lud0zeu said:
novatech":2lud0zeu said:
BeefmasterB":2lud0zeu said:
(this is evidence that the Brahman breed evolved from goats )]
If it doesn't rain pretty soon I may be trying to revert them back. What the drought doesn't get the grasshoppers eat. Maybe you could come up with a chicken cow or a guinea cow to eat them. Right now that would be efficient. :lol2:
You must be in pretty good shape to be able to support grasshoppers. :p
The grashopper's frame size has dropped by 1/2. I don't think it is because of genetics though. The neighbors guineas are doing well on them. :lol2:
 

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