Winter feeding

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Raycountry

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I'm really new to raising cattle, loving it even though they wore me out the first year. I feed round bales to 4 heifers, 2 steers ranging at about 750 to 850, and 1 bull at 2000. They get 1 bale a day at about 500 lbs. 3 types of hay , alfalfa, oat, & grass. Oat hay is their favorite. I bloat block, and always a salt block. What advice do you have for me?
 

RDFF

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1. Try to avoid every kind of unnecessary overhead expense you possibly can, if you intend to make profit, especially when you're fairly small. Anything that you can get an animal or a plant to do for you, that you otherwise have to do yourself or with iron, is money in your pocket.

2. Remember rule #1.

3. If you want to make small changes, change the way you do things. If you want to make BIG changes, change the way you SEE things. Be observant, recognize that natural systems can function entirely without you... and most things we do interfere with the natural order of things. God gave cows legs... let them use them. (Most of these quotes come from Gabe Brown's presentations... thanks Gabe!). Grow winter stockpiled forages anytime you can, and make THAT a priority.

4. Remember rule #1.

5. When you DO have to spend some money on "capital investments" or necessary equipment, don't try to cheat on quality... do it right the first time. What right is requires you to do some research, and seek out the experience of others, and preferably, that of much more experienced individuals. Things like this forum, and seminars where lots of others gather to share ideas, are GREAT places to find and get feedback from those guys, and to broadly expand your social and intellectual base in the business.

6. Remember rule #1.

7. No matter how small your operation, treat it like it HAS to make a profitable cash flow, all on its own. Better to make money on 10 head, than to lose money on 100.

8. Remember rule #1

9. Be innovative, and don't be afraid to think outside the box. When experimenting, make your mistakes "small ones", before implementing on a broad scale. Bounce your innovative ideas off of more experienced individuals for advice, flaws they may see but you don't, and recommendations for alternative solutions. Seek the opinions of others, and respect them, even if you don't agree with them. Even if your talking to a complete idiot, you can at least take from the experience how not to be an idiot.

10. Remember rule #1!
 

Dsth

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raising livestock is probably not your main income so I would suggest do things the way that makes you happy. once you depend on the livestock as a part of your income, hopefully you will be confident on how you should move forward. asking for advise along the way is a great way to get options to your questions. You will find out like most on here that many knowledgeable people can help guide you along the way if you ask. about those bloat blocks; is their a particular reason that you feed them? If you read the label, they can't possibly eat enough of it every day to prevent bloating, which from your post, doesn't seem like you need to worry about bloating. I would switch bloat blocks for mineral (either free choice or blocks.) good luck and welcome aboard.
 

Dave

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If all the steers and heifers weigh 850 and your bull does weigh 2,000 that is 7,100 pounds. With dry matter fed at 3% of their body weight they should eat about 213 pounds of dry matter a day. Ball park the hay is 90% dry matter that would be 237 pounds of hay a day that they are eating. Are they cleaning up a 500 pound bale a day? How much waste is there? A 500 pound bale every other day is more in line with what they should be eating. Good luck and welcome to CT.
 

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