Turning bull out on grass

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Anonymous

I purchased a bull calf at about 500# last fall and put him in my feedlot to see how well he would do as well as get some size on him if I wanted to use him with my cows. My question is right know he is on a self feeder with shell corn and I want to let him out on pasture with my cows. What if any precautions should be taken to remove him from self feeding shell corn to a grass diet? Any ideas or experience would be appreciated.

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Anonymous

First, what kind of grass? Fresh, lush new growth, or grass been up for a while. Grass that has been up for a few weeks (aged), if right kind, should be ok. Be real careful if putting on new growth fescue, soghrum type grasses, wheat grass...avoid bloat, prussic acid poisoning, etc. Check with the locals in your area as to what they're doing. Also, why was bull on just corn? Bagged "complete" feed with minerals would probably be better. Straight grains not best idea in my opinion. Cattle need hay, forage roughage more than they need grain or feed supplements--for rumen activity. Feeds should always "supplement" hay and forage...know the feedlot people would probably disagree to this rule, since they are into accelerated weight gain getting ready for slaughter programs. Finally, ensure the bull and others have continual free-choice minerals and salt as well as plenty of water.



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Anonymous

I agree, many bull breeders in my area sell bulls that are "fed and not bred" you put them out with cows on grass and they come out in a few months looking like hell. This is why i buy bulls from producers that do not feed a high percentage grain ration. A full fed a higher percentage roughage ration will look good in his "every day clothes" and will not disappoint you in the fall. If you have been feeding him a lot of corn you should be prepared for a big loss of body condition. There is a man named Kit Pharo who has a lot of good ideas about bull conditioning, i don't agree with a lot of his beliefs such as calving in June but he has some good ideas. Look him up on the web.

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