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Old 12/29/11, 10:40 PM
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Question Best feed to put weight on cow

Jersey cow, 3 years old. Calved last May. She lost some condition in the fall at the worst part of the drought. Is on free feed good grass hay. Access to salt and mineral blocks. Dry right now. Not bred back. Has been wormed with Ivomec. She is a lot thinner than I want her. She's not gaining weight on hay. What is the best supplemental feed for putting weight on? We usually feed sorghum hay for winter weight gain, but due to the drought, all the sorghum hay failed this year. So, I need an alternative feed and amounts to feed per day.

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Old 12/29/11, 10:42 PM
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Unless you're wanting to be stringent on what you want to spend on, grain is your only option for getting weight back on her. In your area, some variant of corn (cracked, rolled, whole, etc.) may be best to get her back in good condition again.

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Old 12/29/11, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Karin L View Post
Unless you're wanting to be stringent on what you want to spend on, grain is your only option for getting weight back on her. In your area, some variant of corn (cracked, rolled, whole, etc.) may be best to get her back in good condition again.
Just straight corn or a mixture of corn and protein pellets? They sell a mixture at the co-op that is rolled corn, oats, molasses and protein pellets and is about 16% protein.
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Old 12/29/11, 10:57 PM
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16% is good.... it may take a while, but you should see results by doing this.

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Old 12/29/11, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TSYORK View Post
16% is good.... it may take a while, but you should see results by doing this.
How much grain per day on a dry cow to promote weight gain?
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Old 12/30/11, 09:32 AM
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If I were concerned, I'd be feeding 5 pounds of 16% per day until she reaches the maintenance level you desire. This may take all winter...Topside

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Old 12/30/11, 09:32 AM
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I'd start her on the 16% concentrates at about 6lbs a day to start and gradually build it up to 10-15lbs, or more, a day and see how she does. If she's not getting any grain at all you will want to start out slowly and build up so she doesn't throw her rumen out of balance. Watch her manure. If it gets too soft, back off the grain a little and build back up.

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Old 12/30/11, 09:41 AM
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If I were concerned, I'd be feeding 5 pounds of 16% per day until she reaches the maintenance level you desire. This may take all winter...Topside
What he said...
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Old 12/30/11, 10:56 AM
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I'd start her on the 16% concentrates at about 6lbs a day to start and gradually build it up to 10-15lbs, or more, a day and see how she does. If she's not getting any grain at all you will want to start out slowly and build up so she doesn't throw her rumen out of balance. Watch her manure. If it gets too soft, back off the grain a little and build back up.
Thank you and for everyone else that answered. I'm off to get grain today plus some alfalfa hay to supplement also.
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Old 12/30/11, 11:37 AM
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These type homesteading questions boil down to is what can you afford? How balanced is the hay your feeding now? Has the hay been analyzed for content? (nutrients, minerals, proteins, carbs, etc.) Just because a hay looks good does not mean it is good. Lots of variables, but money seems to usually dictate the approach. Take good care of your livestock, they can't talk, or drive to the feed store. Topside

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Old 12/30/11, 12:30 PM
 
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Not to be dour, but we saw our first case of Johnne's at the auction last week. Cow was BONES and she stopped to poo and it was WATER. Horrible horrible horrible. How many of you folks test for it? I heard our vet say a lot more cows had it in our county than we think, and it kind of freaked me out. My daughter has three calves from local dairies, and while all seem strong and healthy, I wonder when it starts to show. No putting weight on those animals regardless of what one feeds them.

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Old 12/30/11, 01:39 PM
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Not to be dour, but we saw our first case of Johnne's at the auction last week. Cow was BONES and she stopped to poo and it was WATER. Horrible horrible horrible. How many of you folks test for it? I heard our vet say a lot more cows had it in our county than we think, and it kind of freaked me out. My daughter has three calves from local dairies, and while all seem strong and healthy, I wonder when it starts to show. No putting weight on those animals regardless of what one feeds them.
Our cow and our bull were just tested for it late last February and they are negative. Plus, her poo is fine. But the vet that did our testing told us the same thing. That there's a lot of cases of that.
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Old 12/30/11, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 6e View Post
Just straight corn or a mixture of corn and protein pellets? They sell a mixture at the co-op that is rolled corn, oats, molasses and protein pellets and is about 16% protein.
You could go with the mixture of corn and protein pellets, but remember that protein doesn't put on weight: energy in the form of fat does. If you can get a feed that has a sufficient amount of fat content in it (it would be in the form of Crude Fat content or Ether extract) then that would be part of the solution to get her to put weight back on. Look at this link for more info: Understanding Feed Analysis

I think you might be interested in this link as well: High Priced Corn and Dairy Cow Rations

From the link above, dairy cows normally need only 15.2% CP, not 16%, but with a thin cow like what you have, you might need the extra 0.8% protein.
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Old 12/30/11, 10:00 PM
 
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With the temps and weather you have in KS would it be more cost effective to pour the grain to her in about 2 months when we are coming out of winter. She will be using a lot of your feed just to stay warm.
???
Just asken
Steve

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Old 12/30/11, 10:21 PM
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With the temps and weather you have in KS would it be more cost effective to pour the grain to her in about 2 months when we are coming out of winter. She will be using a lot of your feed just to stay warm.
???
Just asken
Steve
Maybe, but right now her condition is poor enough, that I'll take my chances of pouring the grain down her and letting her use it for whatever.

Well, with advice from the feed store and the advice I got here and from what was available in this area, she is now getting a 12% stocker sweet feed, alfalfa pellets, range cubes that are 23%, cottonseed hulls for fiber and to aid in protein digestion and rice bran with 18% fat. We'll see how she does. I wormed her and her calf again. I'll keep this up and evaluate her again in a month or so and see if we're getting anywhere. I only started out with about 5# of feed. I'll watch her for any runny droppings and adjust as needed.
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Old 12/31/11, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 6e View Post
I'll keep this up and evaluate her again in a month or so and see if we're getting anywhere.
If you don't have a weight tape to measure gain, you can use a string or rope to measure around her heart girth. Mark it and then you can try again in a couple weeks to see if she's gotten any larger. Sometimes it's hard to tell just by looking.
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Old 12/31/11, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for the tip on the string!

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Old 01/01/12, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 6e View Post
Well, with advice from the feed store and the advice I got here and from what was available in this area, she is now getting a 12% stocker sweet feed, alfalfa pellets, range cubes that are 23%, cottonseed hulls for fiber and to aid in protein digestion and rice bran with 18% fat. We'll see how she does. I wormed her and her calf again. I'll keep this up and evaluate her again in a month or so and see if we're getting anywhere. I only started out with about 5# of feed. I'll watch her for any runny droppings and adjust as needed.
I work in a feed store and like all but the stocker sweet, it adds alot of sugar to the diet, and you seem to be a grass and hay feeder, I would use all but the stocker and add a feed suppliment. I my store I recommend sunshine plus it is a multi species suppliment with high protein and probiotics
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Old 01/01/12, 10:07 AM
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I haven't heard of Sunshine. The stocker sweet is just corn and protein pellets with molasses. It's not real high in protein, in fact, that was the highest they had without going to a horse senior feed. I could put in just straight soybean meal to raise the protein level, but it gets tricky for me making it consistent since I mix it by hand as I feed. There's a lot of Purina dealers around here and Manna Pro and Farmland. Are there any like that in those brands that you know of?

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Old 01/01/12, 10:19 AM
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I see it's made by Blue Seal. I did a search and there's no dealers anywhere around here. I haven't seen anything like that in the Purina line either, but there could be, but they don't carry it. I have a hard time just getting the feed stores to carry the Purina show rabbit. :-/

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