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  #1  
Old 05/22/12, 02:50 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South East Florida
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Feeding my cows...what?

Hi all, so we supply our couple girls with a round bale, as much grass as will grow/they will eat and occasionally some grain for a treat. Recently we have been building our compost the "extreme" level. We have a tree company that has been delivering a dump load a day of clean, nice chips. Green and brown and all non-toxic to animals. It seems my girls LOVE this stuff way more than grass of hay. I figure, if this keeps working, I may have found the cheapest way to feed my cattle...any problems seen here? They are for beef only, one will be bred.

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  #2  
Old 05/22/12, 03:21 PM
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Personally, I wouldn't, but I will defer to the experts here regarding nutritional value. I'd be worried about whether it actually is all non-toxic, in addition to sharp edges on chips. No thanks.

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  #3  
Old 05/22/12, 03:30 PM
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Location: SW Missouri
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All I can say is just *WOW*....
I am at most a cattle wannabe but this just seems wrong.

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  #4  
Old 05/22/12, 05:06 PM
Dariy Calf Raiser
 
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Location: missouri
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YES BUT this is all it would take to wipe out entire herd Wilted cherry tree leaves will kill cattle. Hydrogen cyanide (with the historical common name of Prussic acid) is the source of the poison. I doubt that any cattle can survive the consumption of more than a few stressed or wilted leaves.

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  #5  
Old 05/22/12, 05:40 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
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I wouldn't allow them to eat wood chips. Their bodies aren't made for it. What happens if it builds up and can't be pooped out because they can't digest it? They would die. Please don't let them eat more of it until you do some research - real research, not asking people on a forum and talking to a vet.

Do they have a good mineral and salt available? I'm thinking possibly they are missing something that's making them want the wood chips.

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  #6  
Old 05/22/12, 05:57 PM
Dariy Calf Raiser
 
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^^^^ what Cliff said

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  #7  
Old 05/23/12, 07:25 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South East Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyhomemaker09 View Post
All I can say is just *WOW*....
I am at most a cattle wannabe but this just seems wrong.
Thanks for your informative information, glad you found the time to post this for my information. Without it, I would have thought you were an expert cattle farmer, makes me proud to have been born and raised in Central Mo and not SW Mo.


The others:
I have been researching via online and talked to a vet from my parents farm area. Since cattle graze, and often clean my palms and oaks when they wander around the property, I'll keep watching what we have. They don't eat the wood, at least not from what we have seen. They eat the green and palm seed pods.

Will continue researching. Thanks to those with real info response and not just post count builders.
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  #8  
Old 05/23/12, 07:30 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South East Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
I wouldn't allow them to eat wood chips. Their bodies aren't made for it. What happens if it builds up and can't be pooped out because they can't digest it? They would die. Please don't let them eat more of it until you do some research - real research, not asking people on a forum and talking to a vet.

Do they have a good mineral and salt available? I'm thinking possibly they are missing something that's making them want the wood chips.
Hey Cliff< yes, they have free choice of both, along wit hhigh quality round bale, fresh grass and, for a treat, "cattle chow". They are extremely happy and healthy, and we do rotational grazing on 3 areas with a 4th being fenced soon. We rotate all our livestock through the areas, to keep parasite loads down and have not had any health issues, at all. They also use the pile as a playground, and since South Florida has no hills, they think these are mountains....lol
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  #9  
Old 05/23/12, 09:33 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern KY
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At first I thought the cows were eating the wood! That seems a little abnormal to me. Cows eating leaves is normal. I will strongly second what myersfarm said about cherry leaves. Other than that, I don't know why it would be a problem. My cows love to eat leaves off trees. I think my one cow actually prefers the roughage of the leaves. I don't really see a problem with it. Many people use wood chips as bedding and it will break down to make some nice top soil over time. I would make sure you keep good grass pasture available or good hay. I don't think the wood pile would make a good total feed ration!

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  #10  
Old 05/23/12, 09:54 AM
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It isn't just cherry leaves that can cause problems. Oak leaves as well as the bark, eaten in enough quantity, can cause similar problems. Willow leaves and bark can cause other problems when eaten in enough quantity as well. Then, there are the ornamentals, like rhododendron, and others, that are quite toxic to livestock. Being in Florida, I don't know how much problem cherry trees are for you, probably not much, however, you do have live oaks, and you just don't know if any toxic ornamentals were chipped up in the mix, so I'd be very careful with it. I do know that manchineels grow there, so as I said, unless I was positive what trees/shrubs were chipped up by the crew in each load, I'd probably avoid it.

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  #11  
Old 05/23/12, 09:55 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
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Ahh I thought they were eating wood chips also. What you are describing doesn't sound bad as long as the trees weren't sprayed for anything. Yay for free food - and delivered at that

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  #12  
Old 05/23/12, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by heavyrebel View Post
Thanks for your informative information, glad you found the time to post this for my information. Without it, I would have thought you were an expert cattle farmer, makes me proud to have been born and raised in Central Mo and not SW Mo.

In Suziehomaker09's defense, you didn't restrict your question to "expert cattle farmers". You asked a question to everyone on this board (you open up with "hi all", and when you do so, you leave yourself open to legitimate responses from all members of it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that feeding wood chips doesn't sound like a bright idea. YOU left out some key information when you said you were having a "dump load of chips delivered a day" and you intimated that your livestock was eating them. You shouldn't really ridicule someone for giving their opinion when you asked for opinions, and then leave out key information. Your sarcasm (and it wasn't even directed at me) makes me hesitate to answer any further questions you may post.
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  #13  
Old 05/23/12, 10:56 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South East Florida
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Hey Queen,

Your right, Legitimate responses are welcome. The response I received was not. The question it self would imply someone with information should respond. Why if someone asks a question that may sound odd to me, yet I have no idea if I am right, I woul not respond.

Secondly, I said chips, from a tree company. I said green and brown an specified clean, non-toxic. I did not say Wood chips, although in any tree there is wood. If there is a wooded area in one pasture, the cattle may chew on it. If it is not a toxic tree, and one has fallen, would one assume it might kil them to eat it?

I asked it on this board because it is the CATTLE board, on a homesteading board. This lends itself to unique thoughts, process and ways of farming and therefore feeding.

Have no fear though, I'll be sure to only ask experts questions, so those of you who need something to do, beside manage your own farms, livestock, jobs or family will know that I don't need your sarcastic, snide or admittedly ignorant of the subject comments.

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Last edited by heavyrebel; 05/23/12 at 11:30 AM. Reason: To correct spelling, since my phone typing skills are poor...i'll ask an expert to help me with that.
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  #14  
Old 05/23/12, 12:27 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
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Everybody take a deeeep breath, and be nice

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  #15  
Old 05/23/12, 01:17 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluegrass View Post
At first I thought the cows were eating the wood! That seems a little abnormal to me. Cows eating leaves is normal. I will strongly second what myersfarm said about cherry leaves. Other than that, I don't know why it would be a problem. My cows love to eat leaves off trees. I think my one cow actually prefers the roughage of the leaves. I don't really see a problem with it. Many people use wood chips as bedding and it will break down to make some nice top soil over time. I would make sure you keep good grass pasture available or good hay. I don't think the wood pile would make a good total feed ration!
Yeah, we are working towards building our soil, since we essentially have sandy soil. Hence the composting efforts. We have not reached the 'Forerunner' lever yet, but it is our dream to do so on the amount of property we have, comparatively. We had no intent of it being our sole feed, but its a heck of a nice addition and they seem to be getting enrichment from it, which we believe is important.
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  #16  
Old 05/23/12, 01:17 PM
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Location: SW Missouri
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Ok....
I'll be the big person here and apologize.
It was not my intent to upset you or hurt your feelings...I was just simply amazed at your suggestion.
I do goats...I have started with cattle and sheep as well...
Having had experience with livestock in the past it occurs to me that just because an animal wants to eat something doesn't mean that it's good for them. Goats...eating too much grain will bloat and kill them in a matter of hours. I've had it happen...was a pure accident but none the less.
I'm sorry if my reply offended you.

But in response to an accusation of post padding !?!?!

not even close to being a post padder might wanna check into that before accusing especially as I'm over 3k and you aren't even to 250.....

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Last edited by suzyhomemaker09; 05/23/12 at 03:27 PM. Reason: added info
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  #17  
Old 05/23/12, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyrebel View Post
Thanks for your informative information, glad you found the time to post this for my information. Without it, I would have thought you were an expert cattle farmer, makes me proud to have been born and raised in Central Mo and not SW Mo.


The others:
I have been researching via online and talked to a vet from my parents farm area. Since cattle graze, and often clean my palms and oaks when they wander around the property, I'll keep watching what we have. They don't eat the wood, at least not from what we have seen. They eat the green and palm seed pods.

Will continue researching. Thanks to those with real info response and not just post count builders.
You can bet that I will not be responding to any posts of yours in the future.
There is no reason for this kind of response. I have lots of cattle experience, in your area too.
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Last edited by Possum Belly; 05/23/12 at 01:52 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05/23/12, 03:54 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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  #19  
Old 05/23/12, 06:47 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South East Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possum Belly View Post
You can bet that I will not be responding to any posts of yours in the future.
There is no reason for this kind of response. I have lots of cattle experience, in your area too.
hmm..ok. It nice that the person who asked the question, then gets treated like an idiot, then responds is the person you deem as having a poor attitude. No matter.

Im sorry Suzy, I just can't imagine why you would post such a response to a question, I guess I'm wired differently. I'm sorry about your goat experience. We raise Alpines for our milk and keep a very close watch on all their intake, but of course accidents can and do and will happen. SO far we have been successful in keeping them safe..less successful in dis-budding 100 percent, but that too is a learning curve I suppose.

If for some reason my OP wasn't clear or seems ridiculous, well, sorry, I felt it an honest and interesting question.

Best of luck to you all in your cattle....
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  #20  
Old 05/26/12, 06:17 PM
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Maine
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Typically when cattle (or sheep) start chewing wood chips or going after the bark on our cedar fence pots, we check the mineral feeder. Over the years I have found that when cows or sheep need some mineral, they go after wood chips or bark. It is not just salt though, its a mineral deficiency...I just not sure which mineral.

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