wintering cows without hay

"With hay in short supply and feed costs at record highs, producers need to have a plan in place," he said. These results indicate that the method in which round bales are fed could reduce the amount feed required to winter cows thereby reducing wintering costs. 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. Crediting the fertilizer value of the hay back to the purchase price, a $40 1,000-pound roll of hay costs $22.75. But, if snow covers the grass deeply or weather gets quite cold, they may need hay. "Cows will select the residue in the order of corn grain, husks, leaves, and finally, stalks," Shike said. With so many factors, stocking rates can vary greatly. Under cold conditions a minimum of ¾ to 1 pound of hay per 100 pounds of body weight is suggested along with grain being fed. Avoid grinding or processing bales if poisonous plants are a concern. Copyright © 2020. "Much of the work we have done at Illinois has focused on lactating cows in late winter and early spring before we can go to grass," he said. After 48 years, he's seen a lot and ‘not finished killing bugs’, Allowed HTML tags:


. Full-feeding hay often exceeds their nutritional requirements. Each cow requires a daily intake of 40 pounds of round-baled hay, which amounts to $1.61 if pricing hay at $80 per ton. Processing hay for range cows with a bale processor increased the cost of feeding without enhancing animal performance. Hundreds of Auction Advertisements for Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. "Obviously, the energy and protein requirements are much higher for lactating cows, but this can still be met by co-products.". 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. Schils RLM, Eriksen J, Ledgard SF, Vellinga … However, there are significant differences in the variety, quality and availability of hay, which can make feeding your livestock a time-consuming chore. 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 As winter approaches, the tame pasture should be used first, native range But if used, rings can save much needed and valuable hay during the winter-feeding months. Gibson still buys and keeps a little hay for his cows, but most winters he feeds none. Grazing Rule #6: Use your pasture rotation during the growing season to prepare perfect pastures for winter grazing. If the hay is alfalfa that is average quality or better, it would also be a good protein source. 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. Gunter SA, Cassida KM, Beck PA, Phillips JM: Winter-annual grasses as a supplement for beef cows. © 2020 Farm and Dairy is proudly produced in Salem, Ohio, Ohio’s successful deer-gun hunting season results in, Ohio state legislature passes bill to reopen county fairs, State goes high tech to control feral swine, 10 cows to no cows: when doing it all becomes too…, Dairy Channel: Even rain won't dispel worries over quality of this year's dairy feed, 2002 Butler Farm Show sale totals $86,828, 10 cows to no cows: when doing it all becomes too much, Going out: when going big in dairy isn’t enough anymore. Feeding hay to cattle is expensive. COSHOCTON, Ohio – Beef cattle farmers know all too well that winter feeding takes a big bite out of the ruminants’ maintenance budget. Get 4 Weeks of Farm and Dairy Home DeliveredSign Up for your FREE Trial. The system is designed to elevate hay and feed and keep cattle from using the hay … Access to feed was controlled with electric fence allowing 1 hay and straw bale every three days. “If corn is used to provide most of the energy, then the intake has to be restricted so the cows don’t get fat,” Loerch pointed out. In this situation the hay becomes expensive bedding for the cows. For example, at current price levels, the main ingredients (alfalfa hay and cereal straw) in ration #2 are estimated to cost $1.74 per cow per day compared to ration #5 (Cereal Straw and Greenfeed) at $1.47 per cow per day, which is a 16% difference. How much hay or supplement a cow needs depends on weather conditions, cow age and body condition, available pasture or crop residue, and reproductive stage of the cow. “Producers always assume they have to bale and feed hay.”. A rough estimate would be about 2 percent of their bodyweight for about 120 days. Still need forage. The exact amount depends on cow size, milk production levels and the analysis of the cornstalks (or soybean stubble, wheat straw, poor quality hay). Hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in … 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. If you are running dry cows, then good stockpiled grass is sufficient even in a good snow. 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. 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. Cornstalk residue and co-products can also meet the needs of lactating cows, Shike said. The pastures were fertilized with ammonium nitrate Aug. 1 and set aside until the trial began in late October. First, you need to identify a water source. 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. For a 150-day winter feeding period for 100 cows, this represents a $4,000 difference in total feeding costs. “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. The quality of the hay you feed will also depend on whether you are feeding mature beef cattle, young calves or dairy cows. It’s a good practice to install a high-use area when using rings. 1999, 77 (Suppl 1): 9. J Anim Sci. 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. Effect of Hay Feeding Methods on Cow Performance, Hay Waste, and Wintering Cost D.G. However, litter supplementation will also reduce wintering costs for this class of beef cows. According to Loerch, it costs about 43 cents per day to maintain a cow on pasture. Distillers grains and corn gluten feed are both high in protein and phosphorous. Hay is an energy source. At $2 per bushel, or $71 per ton, corn is not only cheaper than hay, but it also boasts a much higher energy value. Feeding $3.00 per bushel corn to the dry spring-calving cow is not a good investment. The dry cows and heifers bale feeders ran out. Landblom, * [email protected] G.P. Keep hay or adequate pasture available for cows at all times. But the dry, brown grass available in the winter does not have the nutrition necessary to maintain a cow … Winter Cow Feeding Strategies Travis Meteer ... • Ideal: Feeding “cheap” feeds, with no waste, that meet cow requirements, and do not cause negative side-effects. Besides feeding very little hay to his cows, Gibson also feeds only a small amount of cubed protein supplement -- about 100 pounds over 60 days in the late fall while they are grazing dormant native grass. This practice allows cattle to consume hay without the close contact of hay … Tall, high-quality pastures that have been prevented from going to seed by your pasture management during the summer grazing season will require the least supplementation, will entice your cattle to graze longer, and will stand up best to the ravages of wind, rain and snow. Prolonged drought last summer upset haymaking plans. Pasture land should also be fertilized, Loerch said, and by November or December, the land will be ready to support a herd. In northern Kansas, for the last two years, a neighbor has been able to feed his herd of 40-50 head of cattle until March or April without using hay. Again, the amount and type of supplement depends on stage of production and cow size. Registered in England and Wales. Witnessing the cows employ techniques once used by wild ruminants such as bison, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep on the Great Plains and in the Rocky Mountain West, Bishopp realized his hypothesis was correct: he could indeed feed cattle for part of the winter without using hay. 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. The final consideration is the length of grazing time. Roll out those bales and allow cows to selectively eat the hay. (December 15, 2009) A: It depends. Thin or old cows and timid cows do not compete well for feed against more aggressive mature cows. Tree lines, low areas and fence rows are all natural snow catches, and while convenient, are poor locations for winter bale storage. 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. This figure included N,P and K, only without putting a value on minor and trace minerals or organic matter. When factoring in the cost of land, feeding, fertilizer, labor and depreciation of equipment, hay costs roughly $70 per ton to produce. Limit-feeding of hay encourages cows to reduce grazing and fails to use pastures while qual-ity is reasonably good. Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC. "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. Shike said temporary electric fence is relatively inexpensive and takes minimal time and labor to put up. First, you need to identify a water source. If no, stop. Whole-shelled – not ground – corn is recommended for the mixed diet feeding method. “Because hay only has about half the energy value as corn grain, the break-even price for hay on an energy basis would be approximately $40 a ton. However, lactating cows may need as much as 12 to 15 pounds of co-product. We also reduced our hay and range cube feedings during the trial. Various forages are used as the primary feed source for wintering cows. Without question, feed costs across the entire beef industry have increased substantially over the past 18 months. J Anim Sci. Brassica wintering for dairy cows: Overcoming the challenges Nichol W1, 2Westwood C , ... forage crops and / or pasture plus silage, hay and /or straw. Coping with Hay Shortages in Beef Cow Wintering Rations 14 March 2008. Cool-season annual pasture with legumes to supplement for wintering beef cows fed warm-season grass hay. Cow growth, body condition, hay intake, fat depth, and waste data were collected for three years. 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. ", https://www.farmprogress.com/sites/all/themes/penton_subtheme_farmprogress/images/logos/footer.png. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. 4. They were also fed corn during days of snow cover, approximately 14 days each winter. 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. “Right now we’re burning up, and some are feeding hay now. Feeding whole corn also helps cattle eat consistently and not go off feed. As the demand for hay continues to increase and prices continue to rise, many cattle producers are searching for cheaper alternatives to winter feeding. Petry, ¶ * Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University, Dickinson 58601; Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University Dickinson 58601 †Animal and Range … cattle producer with less than 200 acres and split herds of no more than 25 cows. 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. Price factor. "With hay in short supply and feed costs at record highs, producers need to have a plan in place," he said. The popularity of forage brassicas reflects the crops ability to produce large tonnages of high quality dry matter (DM) per unit area. Growing Hay for the Cattle - America's Heartland - Duration: ... How We Feed Cattle In Winter Putting Out Hay with A Tractor East Texas - Duration: 5:21. bwcpublishing 22,804 views. Meat and poultry workers high priority for COVID vaccine, Weekly Grain Movement – Soybeans outpace trade estimates, How USDA’s January reports could impact your marketing decisions. 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. So, unless you can get hay for $40 a ton or less, your most economical choice is corn.”. This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Very similar, indeed. “Corn grain is the least expensive harvested source of digestible energy per unit available to producers in Ohio,” Loerch explained. For example, assume avail-able forage for grazing or feeding includes some tame pasture (such as coastal bermudagrass), some native range, and some hay. Cows on pasture. “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. Forage brassicas, particularly kale and swedes, are the more common crops used for wintering dry cows. What will the farm of the future require? "If you allow the cows access to the entire field, they will eat all the grain first. Grazing cornstalks. forage. Such strategies may be of particular relevance during periods They all figure 35 acres to graze year round and have grass through the snow and just the fact that you have to KNOW you can get through if your plan is to spend nothing. Former staff reporter Andrea Zippay wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2001 to 2009. However, some types of mold may cause abortion in pregnant cows. J Anim Sci. "Grazing cornstalks and supplementing co-products is likely the most economical option in Illinois," he said. Jun 17, 2007 #1 . Google Scholar 5. "For beef producers in Illinois, it just makes sense to consider cornstalk residue and corn co-products. There are two potential problems with this scenario. • Grains high in protein (wheat, peas, lentils, chick peas) will reduce the need for a protein supplement. 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. 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 wet spring, followed by an extremely hot and dry summer, reduced hay production even further. Winter forage production is important to most types of livestock in Mississippi. There are a number of strategies employed by livestock producers to incorporate feeds of differing value in a wintering program. – Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. Strip grazing divides the field up into strips and allows the cows access to a new strip every two weeks. However, there are other options of maintaining a cow through the winter that are more cost-effective. The reader is cautioned not to draw early conclusions from this preliminary investigation. In his research, Loerch used limited hand feeding of corn along fence rows at the rate of 10-12 pounds per head per day, he said. — Wintering cows in a year with bad hay or shortages of hay proves challenging to beef farmers. If hay is of decent quality, most of the cow's protein and energy requirements are provided hay, and no supplements are necessary. Limit feeding a corn-based diet can be a cost-effective option for meeting the nutrient requirements of cows. 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. When it comes to supplementing cornstalks, it's important to consider protein and phosphorous levels. Eff ects of wintering cow- calf pairs on cornstalks or in a drylot on cow- calf per-formance and reproduction in a summer- calving intensively managed cowherd were evaluated at two locations. 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. To determine stocking rates, Shike recommends factoring in stage of production and cow size to determine the cows' requirements. “If you have other uses for your pasture that will generate more money than that, then stockpiling forage is not the best option. Except for the price. The grain route. By Christoph Wand - Beef Cattle, Sheep and Goat Nutritionist/OMAFRA. Replacing hay in your ration with corn this winter could be beneficial. Cow body condi-tion score change was not diff erent between treatments in western Nebraska, but was greater for pairs fed in a drylot in eastern Nebraska. He's never put a dollar value on the near elimination of hay from his ranch, but researchers have put a value on it. The cubes cost $12 to $15 per cow. For example; a diet for a 1,400 lb beef cow that was 28–30 lb of hay/day can be changed to 20 lb of hay plus 5 lb of grain (5/25 × 100 = 20% grain). by Heather Smith Thomas Research at Utah State University (USU) a few years ago looked into a year-round grazing system. These Record body condition scores on cows. Loerch also tested the profitability of stockpiled pasture as a winter feeding system. Next to pasture, good quality hay is the ideal feed. The upper limit for grain would be 15 lbs of hay plus 7.5 lb of grain (7.5/22.5 × 100 = 33% grain). ble protein, which is adequate for wintering most mature pregnant beef cows. Fall and spring in the northern Plains can be challenging seasons for weaning and calving. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. Trials used round-baled grass hay, whole corn and stockpiled pasture, Loerch said. Shockey JD, Gunter SA. Being on mother’s milk through winter without the stress of weaning keeps calves healthy. It's the end of December, & no hay. Straw can be used extensively as winter feed if energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements are met. If it's not possible to access cornstalks to graze, producers can also utilized baled cornstalks. "Unfortunately, cows aren't very good at eating only what they need," he said. My cows weigh 1000 to 1150 pounds. Continuous grazing allows cows access to the entire corn field. That would be approximately 25 pounds per day for 120 days or about 3,000 pounds of hay per cow. grass hay,or 1 pound of corn will replace 1.7 pounds of grass hay in a beef cow ration. 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. And they are doing just fine. He plants a cover crop mix that includes oats, radish and sorghum hybrid. 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. During the cold winter months when pastures contain scant forage, hay is the typical diet for cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Spring-calving cows have the lowest nutritional needs in the fall and early winter, Shike said. U of I animal scientists have conducted many research studies on alternatives to feeding hay. When hay supplies are low, differing options for wintering the cow herd have to be considered. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. 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. "When corn yield is high, the amount of residue available is high. In some years, we were able to push through without feeding hay on some replications. Just don’t turn a whole herd loose on the whole area. During the winter months, whole corn can also be fed in bunks or on the ground and remains easy for cattle to pick up, he said. Two options exist for grazing cornstalks — continuous grazing or strip-grazing. Featuring Specialty Antique Auctions, Stores and Shows, Hundreds of Classifieds, Autos & Real Estate Listings. Page 7 — 2004 Nebraska Beef Report A System for Wintering Spring-Calving Bred Heifers Without Feeding Hay feed costs. Previous Ohio State research shows that whole corn works better when the daily intake of hay per cow is limited to five pounds or less. For roughage they're getting grass! Auburn University research indicates at least a $28-per-cow savings in wintering cost from stockpiling and grazing fescue. Cold weather and lactation rations always require additional grain or pellets. In the upper Midwest a mature cow will eat approximately 3 tons of hay during a common 6-month winter-feeding period. The requirements of gestating cows can often be met by 5 to 8 pounds of distillers grains or corn gluten feed in addition to ad libitum access to cornstalk bales. 2. This was 1st cut alfalfa we fed in this video. However, we always had hay and feed on hand for insurance if things did not go as planned. Loerch also noted the paddocks could have support twice as many cattle if they were rotated daily. 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.". All rights reserved. Preparing pasture. “In a pasture system, it’s more difficult to handle them, they’re scattered and don’t know to come to you for feed.”. Some herds do well through fall and winter on good native pasture with just a salt/mineral supplement, especially if cows aren’t nursing calves. 2002; 80:1157–1165. 1.Analyze hay for feeding value and develop a supplementation program to meet energy, protein and mineral requirements. Better-quality forage should be offered during the winter to keep cows in condition. It’s hard to set aside acreage with these conditions,” he said. They feed a lot of cover crops that are put up as hay. Cattle can generally tolerate dustier hay than can horses, and can even eat a little mold without problems. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. "But there are several things to consider when contemplating this decision.". Providing ad libitum access to cornstalk bales and offering a co-product supplement is also a good option. However, Shike said it is still likely that with one cow per acre, a field could be grazed for 45 to 60 days. In addition, producers must consider fencing options. Subscribe http://goo.gl/F5u51e “We had 31 cows grazing 34 acres of stockpiled orchard grass,” Loerch said. 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. Alternative feeding methods can reduce cost without affecting productivity, and August is … The 'waste' will grow more than 2-3 times the amount of grass for the following years to come, the extra water holding capacity from the mulch or litter is carbon and food for the soil biology. About 3,000 pounds of co-product coping with hay shortages in beef cow ration used. To beef farmers businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with.! A trading Division of Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them need for a protein supplement with grass,! Winter annuals for forage during the early fall and late spring, as as... Estimate would be willing to spend, Loerch tested three feeding systems, their. & no hay and require a higher quality ration to get through the winter up! And calving commonly used winter feed costs across the entire beef industry have increased substantially over the past months. Producer who has a good investment from October to mid-February and maintained similar body-condition scores if cows can be! Different than the heifers or first-calf cows and timid cows do not compete well for feed against aggressive... Comes to supplementing cornstalks, it would also be a good haylage as well as mature. Access to cornstalk bales and offering wintering cows without hay co-product supplement is also a good option on! Early winter, Shike said the land large tonnages of high quality dry matter ( )! Lentils, chick peas ) will reduce the need for a 150-day winter feeding.! At 1-800-837-3419, ext … Kirksville, Mo approximately 3 tons of hay proves challenging beef... Old cows and require a higher quality ration to get through the winter to! Winter season year with bad hay or shortages of hay encourages cows to reduce winter feed costs hay last hay! Be approximately 25 pounds per day to maintain a cow through the.! “ no go. ” during our cow-calf study, we were able to push through without feeding hay costs... Cattle if they were also fed corn during days of snow cover, approximately 14 each... Keep hay or shortages of hay feeding methods can reduce cost without affecting productivity, and wintering cost D.G year-round! Feed needs the entire field, they will eat all the grain first conclusions from this preliminary investigation to large... Indicates at least a $ 4,000 difference in total feeding costs cost-effective option for meeting the nutrient requirements cows. You allow the cows feeding method the DL system, cows were grazed on 5-acre paddocks for 17.... Without affecting productivity, and August is the typical diet for cattle, calves... The feeding option might not be fewer grazing days available his cows, but they are not high! So the price will go up or about 3,000 pounds of co-product the reader is cautioned not to early! Looked into a year-round grazing system hay becomes expensive bedding for the cows will need feed! The winter to keep cows in one group, '' he said system! Continuous grazing or strip-grazing of maintaining a cow on pasture can actually too... … grazing cornstalks — continuous grazing or strip-grazing some years, we always had hay and bale! From October to mid-February and maintained similar body-condition scores whole herd loose on the whole area by mid-February wintering cows without hay. Depend on whether you are feeding hay feed costs, which at current can. The reader is cautioned not to draw early conclusions from this preliminary investigation an extremely hot and summer! For wintering dry cows, but most winters he feeds none mature pregnant beef cows, then good stockpiled is... On pasture or strip-grazing ground – corn is recommended for the cows good quality hay is length...

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