The second concept to keep in mind is organization. “It takes four or five days for the animals to get used to the new diet and to not having food available all through the day. Cattle producers can mitigate the winter conditions to some extent with proper planning, facility design and good management practices. First, you need to identify a water source. Wintering Livestock Using Alternate Day Feeding. When hay supplies are low, differing options for wintering the cow herd have to be considered. Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers with the prolonged drought last summer upsetting haymaking plans. To determine stocking rates, Shike recommends factoring in stage of production and cow size to determine the cows' requirements. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Petry, ¶ * Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University, Dickinson 58601; Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University Dickinson 58601 †Animal and Range … During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. And it’s the tradition, the mindset that beef cows should be fed hay in the winter, that gnaws farthest into the farm budget book. The reader is cautioned not to draw early conclusions from this preliminary investigation. — Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. Except for the price. For a 150-day winter feeding period for 100 cows, this represents a $4,000 difference in total feeding costs. Winter forage production is important to most types of livestock in Mississippi. Cattle on this corn-based nutrition program also need to be fed a small amount of hay, since forage is essential to maintaining a healthy rumen. Subscribe Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. "But there are several things to consider when contemplating this decision.". Schils RLM, Eriksen J, Ledgard SF, Vellinga … This week’s snowy weather has reminded cow calf producers that winter hay feeding has begun or will begin shortly. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. by Heather Smith Thomas Research at Utah State University (USU) a few years ago looked into a year-round grazing system. Table 2,which is based on TDN value of feeds,shows the price that could be paid for various HEFs in relation to the price of grass hay.For example,if good­quality grass hay costs $50 per ton delivered,you could This practice allows cattle to consume hay without the close contact of hay … Recent analyses show that hay costs between $0.02 and $0.07 per pound of dry matter; usually more than double the cost for the same amount of nutrients from pasture. Grazing Rule #6: Use your pasture rotation during the growing season to prepare perfect pastures for winter grazing. Cold weather and lactation rations always require additional grain or pellets. J Anim Sci. He's never put a dollar value on the near elimination of hay from his ranch, but researchers have put a value on it. ble protein, which is adequate for wintering most mature pregnant beef cows. However, Shike said it is still likely that with one cow per acre, a field could be grazed for 45 to 60 days. 2. Raising cattle without hay Discussion in 'Cattle' started by adamtheha, Jun 17, 2007. Cow growth, body condition, hay intake, fat depth, and waste data were collected for three years. Depending on the quality, it could also be a good protein source, but in most situations hay would be fed to meet the energy needs of the beef cow. "Cows will select the residue in the order of corn grain, husks, leaves, and finally, stalks," Shike said. All rights reserved. In this situation the hay becomes expensive bedding for the cows. It’s hard to set aside acreage with these conditions,” he said. Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. After 48 years, he's seen a lot and ‘not finished killing bugs’, Allowed HTML tags:

. If you are running dry cows, then good stockpiled grass is sufficient even in a good snow. Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. The BP system utilized a Highline 6800 bale processor to feed 1 hay and straw bale every 3 days, with feeding areas rotated throughout the paddock over the course of the trial. Such strategies may be of particular relevance during periods • Grass hay is usually lower in energy and protein than mixed legume grass hay. Strip grazing divides the field up into strips and allows the cows access to a new strip every two weeks. Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM. It is important to keep the cows in a securely fenced area and make sure that bunk space is adequate so that all of them get their share of food.”. Providing ad libitum access to cornstalk bales and offering a co-product supplement is also a good option. I would think for one or two cows it would be easier to purchase your feed than to cut hay but you must remember that a cow must be able to wrap their tongue around grass to be able to graze and when it gets Alberta cold, they do need a fair amount of feed to get by. Forage brassicas, particularly kale and swedes, are the more common crops used for wintering dry cows. It provides a standing feed, which the cattle can pick and choose. Loerch also noted the paddocks could have support twice as many cattle if they were rotated daily. These cows are no different than the heifers or first-calf cows and require a higher quality ration to get through the winter. Several studies have shown that dependent on market prices, using corn grain, corn gluten feed or distillers' grains, the cost of a pregnant cow's wintering ration can be reduced when displacing hay. However, some types of mold may cause abortion in pregnant cows. As the cows advance in gestation, their requirements go up. This was 1st cut alfalfa we fed in this video. Farm and Agriculture News, Local Market Prices and Crop Reports, Columns and Commentary. "With more acres going toward corn and soybean production, acres in hay production are lower than normal," said Dan Shike, University of Illinois beef cattle nutritionist and professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. You can easily double your hay usage, if your method of feeding is to place bales out in the pasture or lot without any type of feeder. Full-feeding hay often exceeds their nutritional requirements. Using native grass (NG) as a stockpiled, standing hay crop is one of the most cost-effective methods of overwintering the cow herd. In the DL system, cows were fed daily with a feed wagon and tractor. Cows are offered 14 kgs/dm/cow/day, 3-4kgs of grass and 10 kgs of hay, minus approximately 30% of the hay is 'waste' on the ground. With so many factors, stocking rates can vary greatly. Record body condition scores on cows. However, we always had hay and feed on hand for insurance if things did not go as planned. According to Loerch’s research, a daily diet consisting of 12 pounds of corn, 4 pounds of hay and 2 pounds of a protein and mineral supplement provides the same number of calories as 40 pounds of hay – at a cost of only 84 cents per cow per day. Shockey JD, Gunter SA. ", Early August is the time to set aside acreage if you intend to stockpile winter pasture. If I push my place and run at max stocking rate(20 acres per cow) that adds up to $259.80 per cow for land. The upper limit for grain would be 15 lbs of hay plus 7.5 lb of grain (7.5/22.5 × 100 = 33% grain). Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Depending on current commodity prices and availability, there is opportunity to winter cows using alternative energy sources to hay. This is before they go onto fescue. They’ll need more in the winter, so the price will go up. Copyright © 2020. “Favorable prices make this a good time to cull unproductive cows.” Burris said producers should calculate the amount of hay they need to feed cows through the winter. J Anim Sci. Finding hay at that price is rare in Ohio, according to Loerch, who also noted that most farmers can’t even produce hay that inexpensively. Loerch also tested the profitability of stockpiled pasture as a winter feeding system. The ration can be cheapened by balancing it out with about 15 pounds of lower quality roughage such as non-legume hay, grass straw, or cereal straw. For next year. cattle producer with less than 200 acres and split herds of no more than 25 cows. If cows cannot be divided into three groups, combine the heifers and the old, thin cows in one group. Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM: Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. Since it takes time for the rumen to break the seed coat, whole corn delays the release of starch and spreads fermentation through the course of the entire day, providing energy so the animals only need to be fed once a day. During the past three winters, Loerch tested three feeding systems, comparing their cost and effect on the growth and reproduction of cows. If it's not possible to access cornstalks to graze, producers can also utilized baled cornstalks. “With corn feeding, the cows come up every time they’re fed, the know you’re responsible for their feed,” Loerch said. Whole-shelled – not ground – corn is recommended for the mixed diet feeding method. They were also fed corn during days of snow cover, approximately 14 days each winter. Year-round Grazing Using Standing Corn for Winter Feed Researchers prove raising cattle with little to no hay can be done in the West. You’re not locked into feeding hay,” he said. They are easy to handle and require little equipment, facility, ... libitum hay diets fed in herds with ≥ 100 cows Pasture land should also be fertilized, Loerch said, and by November or December, the land will be ready to support a herd. Dry matter intake, as a percent of body weight, can vary from 1.5 percent on straw to 2.75 percent on quality alfalfa hay. The popularity of forage brassicas reflects the crops ability to produce large tonnages of high quality dry matter (DM) per unit area. Grazing corn stalks is enough. However if you have calves on the cows, or are trying to keep gain on a finishing animal (we expect our cows to take the calves through to march, and are still selling finished animals)...some additional hay goes a long way when there's snow. So, unless you can get hay for $40 a ton or less, your most economical choice is corn.”. “If the snow gets too deep, the cows will need supplemental feed,” he said. Feed differently. As winter approaches, the tame pasture should be used first, native range Dairymen also depend on winter annuals for forage during the early fall and late spring, as well as the winter season. "If you offer a high-quality hay, they will actually eat more than if they are fed a lower-quality hay or a crop residue such as cornstalks, soybean stubble or wheat straw.". This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. “Right now we’re burning up, and some are feeding hay now. Landblom, * [email protected] G.P. Jun 17, 2007 #1 . Usually provides adequate levels of nutrients to winter a pregnant cow. Feeding hay to cattle is expensive. J Anim Sci. Continuous grazing allows cows access to the entire corn field. Feed cost is the highest variable cost on most cow/calf operations. If no, stop. This figure included N,P and K, only without putting a value on minor and trace minerals or organic matter. Not only will hay be in high demand in the Midwest and Illinois, but extreme drought in the Southwest will also increase the national demand for hay.". Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in … “It seems that raising cattle and baling hay go hand in hand. For example, assume avail-able forage for grazing or feeding includes some tame pasture (such as coastal bermudagrass), some native range, and some hay. In the upper Midwest a mature cow will eat approximately 3 tons of hay during a common 6-month winter-feeding period. Portable water tanks will work, but if you plan to graze into the winter, then you will want to consider a heating source for the water. There are several people around here who do the no labor-no hay-no expense route. Hay is the most commonly used winter feed for beef cattle, but it’s also the most expensive. Average or better quality hay will meet the nutritional needs of most mature lactating cows, as will the 50:50 blend of hay and litter which contains surplus protein. Producers make hay off the pasture in the spring to feed during winter,” said Steven Loerch, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, during a presentation at the Agricultural Systems and the Environment field day in early July. “In a pasture system, it’s more difficult to handle them, they’re scattered and don’t know to come to you for feed.”. Processing hay for range cows with a bale processor increased the cost of feeding without enhancing animal performance. Watch for poisonous plants. Producers can benefit from finding a way to use these products in cow-calf operation rations, especially in cases where extra protein is needed such as with poor quality hay. It's the end of December, & no hay. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. This study compared cow wintering performance, hay consumption necessary to maintain cow body condition, labor inputs, wintering cost, and hay waste, when hay was either rolled out on the ground, shredded with a bale processor on the ground, or fed in a tapered-cone round bale feeder. If hay is of decent quality, most of the cow's protein and energy requirements are provided hay, and no supplements are necessary. Unrolling hay bales is another feeding practice used widely. In addition to feeding higher levels of grain as a substitute for hay, heavy grain feeding may be appropriate when relatively high rates of gain are desired for reconditioning thin cows. You can easily double your hay usage, if your method of feeding is to place bales out in the pasture or lot without any type of feeder. wintering beef cows, and detailed descriptions of each point follow. But the dry, brown grass available in the winter does not have the nutrition necessary to maintain a cow … There are a number of strategies employed by livestock producers to incorporate feeds of differing value in a wintering program. “Think outside the box. “Cows on all three wintering systems gained about the same weight from October to mid-February and maintained similar body-condition scores. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. The quality of the hay you feed will also depend on whether you are feeding mature beef cattle, young calves or dairy cows. Straw does not contain sufficient levels of these nutrients and the use of grain, protein supplements and mineral/vitamin premixes is needed make straw-based wintering diets work well. The system is designed to elevate hay and feed and keep cattle from using the hay … Page 7 — 2004 Nebraska Beef Report A System for Wintering Spring-Calving Bred Heifers Without Feeding Hay feed costs. Looking for a more cost-effective way to feed your cattle this winter? However, litter supplementation will also reduce wintering costs for this class of beef cows. Straw can be used extensively as winter feed if energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements are met. Older cattle eat more per unit body weight than younger cattle. But, if snow covers the grass deeply or weather gets quite cold, they may need hay. Beef cattle producers depend heavily on winter annual forages, particularly in stocker grazing programs and where fall and winter calving is practiced. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. Table 2,which is based on TDN value of feeds,shows the price that could be paid for various HEFs in relation to the price of grass hay.For example,if good­quality grass hay costs $50 per ton delivered,you could However, there are significant differences in the variety, quality and availability of hay, which can make feeding your livestock a time-consuming chore. Access to feed was controlled with electric fence allowing 1 hay and straw bale every three days. Faulkner says they do monitor the cows’ body condition through winter and adjust rations to keep them in good shape. Number 8860726. Trials used round-baled grass hay, whole corn and stockpiled pasture, Loerch said. “The more frequently [the cows] are moved, the better use you’ll make of the land. However, there are other options of maintaining a cow through the winter that are more cost-effective. Informa Markets, a trading division of Informa PLC. It is usually necessary to feed grain and a protein supplement with grass hay. COSHOCTON, Ohio – Beef cattle farmers know all too well that winter feeding takes a big bite out of the ruminants’ maintenance budget. “We had 31 cows grazing 34 acres of stockpiled orchard grass,” Loerch said.