with drought, has anyone ever fed sawdust?

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BK9954

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I read about people feeding sawdust, but it doesn't say how to break it down, also had a guy in the 50's that fed shredded news paper during the drought. Anyone done this and if so how to do it so the cattle can break it down and get the nutrients?
 

callmefence

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I would think you would only be supplying fiber. Protien , energy, etc would have to come from a supplement.
Liquid feeds, grain etc.
Lots of good ranchers pulled through drought on sorry hay and chicken litter.
 
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BK9954

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The only one I can find that is decent is mesquite, which is on my property, there is a company giving away tons of oak saw dust as cattle feed but I can't find much on that.
 

greybeard

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callmefence":218elqhi said:
https://sanangelo.tamu.edu/people/faculty-2/trw/wood2feed/
I wonder what the ground product was 'pretreated' with?

Mesquite doesn't sound too promising from the milk or protein standpoint, tho the Aspen discussed product further down sounded ok. I'd be worried they didn't get all the mesquite thorns ground up enough.

During the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Texas Tech University evaluated the use of non-treated and pre-treated ground mesquite trees in steer and cow diets (Ellis, 1969 pdf; Parker, 1982 pdf). Ellis (1969) reported in a preliminary trial (no control group) that ground 6-yr old mesquite trees (with leaves) were processed, mixed with other ingredients and fed to cows. Maximum consumption of ground mesquite was 7.26 kg/day. Results suggested that the cows “were not on a high enough nutritional plane to support milk production.” Authors report negative health in some of the cows, but state that they do not know if these effects were due to the diet and make statements such as: “the death did not appear to be related to the ration” or “such weight loss is recognized as normal for cows being wintered on the range.” Authors also report that “data indicated that the ration containing mesquite was reasonably adequate for maintenance. The sharp weight loss post parturition suggests that the wood was inadequate as a major component of the ration for suckling cows.”
 
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BK9954

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Mesquite as a Cattle Feed
Mesquite might serve as a roughage with little nutritional value,
or as an energy cattle feed. Use as a roughage source is the more
simple function, but use as a total energy feed is the more beneficial,
In the latter case, feed grains would not have to be purchased. This
would free the feed grains for human consumption thereby supplementing
man's dwindling food supply (Scott et. al., 1969).
Ruminant animals have four stomachs. Of these, the first three
have the unique ability to digest cellulosic materials which humans
cannot digest. This is possible because these animals have a symbio-
tic arrangement with cellulolytic microorganisms which habitate their
rumen, a first stomach. Thus, the rumen provides ideal conditions for
fermentation, and the microorganisms provide the animal with nutrients
by enzymatically breaking down cellulose and hemicelluloses. Pure
cellulose is completely digestible and thus provides as much energy
as the best feed grains (Scott, et^. ail_., 1969). The fermentation
products which the animal utilizes for energy are primarily acetic
acid and propionic acid. The animals also obtain proteins from the
bacteria and protozoa that pass into the digestive tract. Thus, in
the overall process man gains because materials not suited for human
consumption are converted to usable meat and milk products.
Beef and dairy cattle consume over 400 million tons of feed each
year (Millett, £t. aj_., 1975). In feedlots and dairy farms, the
cattle are fed high carbohydrate grains to promote meat and milk
production. However, some roughage material must be mixed with these
high energy rations or else abnormalities in the liver and stomach
occur (Millett, et^. aj^., 1969). Roughage is also required to physi-
cally stimulate the rumen walls and promote chewing which increases
salivation for the maintenance of rumen pH. Roughage material, such
as grass hay, corn cobs, and cottonseed hulls, can range from $20 to
$40 per ton and are increasing in price (Scott et_. aj_., 1969).
The Texas Agricultural Experimental Station at Spur, Texas, con-
ducted feeding tests on yearling steers to determine the effects of
using mesquite as a roughage. The steers consumed a maximum of 10
pounds of mesquite per day without the addition of molasses. When
molasses was blended into the ration for palatibility, the steers
consumed up to 16 pounds of mesquite per day which represented about
50% of their ration. When mesquite roughage was compared to silage
roughage, the silage-fed steers gained more weight; but, because
mesquite v/as less expensive, the mesquite-fed steers gave an advantage
in net return of $0.32 per head over those fed silage. The mesquite-
fed steers showed no ill effects and the slaughter and carcass data
differed little from that of the control group. This study showed
that the use of mesquite as a roughage is attractive when the price
of conventional roughage is abnormally high (Marion, et^. al_., 1957).
However, research at Texas Tech University concluded that a ration
of ground mesquite alone could not meet the nutritional or energy
requirements for pregnant, lactating beef cows (Ellis, 1969). Al-
though mesquite contains 70% to 75% carbohydrates, a relatively small
percentage of this is digestible due to the protective action of the
lignin (Millett, et^. a\_., 1969). If the digestibility of mesquite
could be increased so that a cow could sustain herself and her calf,
the processed mesquite would have potential for significant utiliza-
tion on ranches. In order to meet these needs, a treatment of mes-
quite would be necessary to make the cellulose more readily available
to the rumen microorganisms. In order to increase the digestibility
of wood, it is necessary to break down the lignin in the cell walls
and to disrupt the structure of the cellulose. Lignin is an amorphous,
polymetric material composed of propyl-benzene units, methoxyl groups,
and hydroxyl groups. It is found in the cell wall along with cellulose
and adds strength and durability to the plant (Cote^ 1965). Lignin is
indigestible and resistant to many microorganisms.
 

TexasBred

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BK9954":2p6yfuif said:
I read about people feeding sawdust, but it doesn't say how to break it down, also had a guy in the 50's that fed shredded news paper during the drought. Anyone done this and if so how to do it so the cattle can break it down and get the nutrients?
What nutrients??
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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TexasBred":1x3ev28y said:
BK9954":1x3ev28y said:
I read about people feeding sawdust, but it doesn't say how to break it down, also had a guy in the 50's that fed shredded news paper during the drought. Anyone done this and if so how to do it so the cattle can break it down and get the nutrients?
What nutrients??
I can't find any info on oak, that's why I am asking. If it's just roughage then the only benifit would be energy?
 

callmefence

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Mesquite beans are a importance food source to almost all wildlife. Mesquite is also a lequme , like beans or clover
Grass in a mesquite pasture is usually quite good
I would rather have mesquite than cedar any day
 
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BK9954

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callmefence":3ghjcwlo said:
Mesquite beans are a importance food source to almost all wildlife. Mesquite is also a lequme , like beans or clover
Grass in a mesquite pasture is usually quite good
I would rather have mesquite than cedar any day
I have a lot of Mesquite s on my place and I was on a Mesquite eradication mission for a while. I just got into the bee business this last year and Mesquite pollen makes darn good honey so I stopped cutting them down.
 

Caustic Burno

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callmefence":lognmj5o said:
Mesquite beans are a importance food source to almost all wildlife. Mesquite is also a lequme , like beans or clover
Grass in a mesquite pasture is usually quite good
I would rather have mesquite than cedar any day


True.
Problem is it is virtually impossible to feed through a drought and stay profitable.
Sometimes it is cheaper to dump cows and play another day.
The damage can be much more costly to pasture for years to hold the cattle .
 

callmefence

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Caustic Burno":2vltg0u8 said:
callmefence":2vltg0u8 said:
Mesquite beans are a importance food source to almost all wildlife. Mesquite is also a lequme , like beans or clover
Grass in a mesquite pasture is usually quite good
I would rather have mesquite than cedar any day


True.
Problem is it is virtually impossible to feed through a drought and stay profitable.
Sometimes it is cheaper to dump cows and play another day.
The damage can be much more costly to pasture for years to hold the cattle .

Agreed I've sold almost 50 head. Over half my herd. I don't have the time to haul feed to them. But if it was all I had to do. I wouldn't hesitate to look at alternatives
 
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BK9954

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callmefence":28426ki2 said:
Caustic Burno":28426ki2 said:
callmefence":28426ki2 said:
Mesquite beans are a importance food source to almost all wildlife. Mesquite is also a lequme , like beans or clover
Grass in a mesquite pasture is usually quite good
I would rather have mesquite than cedar any day


True.
Problem is it is virtually impossible to feed through a drought and stay profitable.
Sometimes it is cheaper to dump cows and play another day.
The damage can be much more costly to pasture for years to hold the cattle .

Agreed I've sold almost 50 head. Over half my herd. I don't have the time to haul feed to them. But if it was all I had to do. I wouldn't hesitate to look at alternatives
If we don't get ANY green grass and I don't get a miracle feed source by March then I will have to sell most.
 

callmefence

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BK9954":i48tiqgr said:
callmefence":i48tiqgr said:
Caustic Burno":i48tiqgr said:
True.
Problem is it is virtually impossible to feed through a drought and stay profitable.
Sometimes it is cheaper to dump cows and play another day.
The damage can be much more costly to pasture for years to hold the cattle .

Agreed I've sold almost 50 head. Over half my herd. I don't have the time to haul feed to them. But if it was all I had to do. I wouldn't hesitate to look at alternatives
If we don't get ANY green grass and I don't get a miracle feed source by March then I will have to sell most.

Milo . I'm hauling it today at about 60 a ton.
Anyone who talks bad about Milo hay either hasn't used it or is trying to sell you something else.
 

callmefence

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BK9954":3pyq32b3 said:
callmefence":3pyq32b3 said:
Caustic Burno":3pyq32b3 said:
True.
Problem is it is virtually impossible to feed through a drought and stay profitable.
Sometimes it is cheaper to dump cows and play another day.
The damage can be much more costly to pasture for years to hold the cattle .

Agreed I've sold almost 50 head. Over half my herd. I don't have the time to haul feed to them. But if it was all I had to do. I wouldn't hesitate to look at alternatives
If we don't get ANY green grass and I don't get a miracle feed source by March then I will have to sell most.


Also March is along way off. I'll bet your pasture is already grazed down to the point it can't recover before frost. Mine is. . A good oat crop will help. But that takes rain to.
But the reality is holding out till March with no reductions is a bad plan. Your gonna work yourself to death pouring money out to skinny cows that get cheaper every day. hoping for better times that will be a long time coming. Cut back to what your land can carry comfortable in bad times and concentrate on your dayjob. ....just my two cents worth.
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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callmefence":3j8lio5h said:
BK9954":3j8lio5h said:
callmefence":3j8lio5h said:
Agreed I've sold almost 50 head. Over half my herd. I don't have the time to haul feed to them. But if it was all I had to do. I wouldn't hesitate to look at alternatives
If we don't get ANY green grass and I don't get a miracle feed source by March then I will have to sell most.


Also March is along way off. I'll bet your pasture is already grazed down to the point it can't recover before frost. Mine is. . A good oat crop will help. But that takes rain to.
But the reality is holding out till March with no reductions is a bad plan. Your gonna work yourself to death pouring money out to skinny cows that get cheaper every day. hoping for better times that will be a long time coming. Cut back to what your land can carry comfortable in bad times and concentrate on your dayjob. ....just my two cents worth.
Good advice. All mine are bred, I was trying to sell in pairs or just the calves in spring but you got me thinking. The calves on the ground now are going to have to go as well as a few of the older cows that won't earn the winter feed.
 

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Caustic Burno":1zdebjlq said:
callmefence":1zdebjlq said:
Mesquite beans are a importance food source to almost all wildlife. Mesquite is also a lequme , like beans or clover
Grass in a mesquite pasture is usually quite good
I would rather have mesquite than cedar any day


True.
Problem is it is virtually impossible to feed through a drought and stay profitable.
Sometimes it is cheaper to dump cows and play another day.
The damage can be much more costly to pasture for years to hold the cattle .
X2
 

snoopdog

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Droughts come and they go , you have to have a plan . That is management , our drought has broken , just before the trigger date . Looks like we're gonna have pasture , and enough hay IF the winter isn't too severe . We may not be out of the woods , we cut some sorry hay for filler and were glad to get it . But ,selling down , is also management , we have sold completely out and concentrated on forage production before , and actually had a bigger margin. You have to follow your heart , but you can't let it rule your mind.
 

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I wonder how much straight commodity mix or the 14% cubes it would take a day for a bred cow to survive the winter? Both are fairly cheap if you can buy them in bulk. Do feedlots feed hay? You could feed a cow 20#’s a day of bulk feed for about $2 a day. Could she survive on this alone if she could find even a little pickin through the day? Need to recruit a beef cattle nutritionist to the board.
 

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